Defensively speaking, it’s already been a rough summer for the Flyers.
On Monday, it got worse.
A tweet sent out by Philadelphia’s official account reported defenseman Andrej Meszaros suffered a torn Achilles tendon while training in his native Slovakia — this coming just days after Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said Meszaros was completely healed from last season’s back surgery.
“Andrej had successful surgery this morning to repair a torn right Achilles tendon,” Holmgren said in a statement. “The surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Raikin at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.
“Andrej was injured last week during summer training in Slovakia. Andrej will be out indefinitely.”
The typical recovery period for a torn Achilles can be six to eight months or more, which means Meszaros is possibly in danger of missing the entire 2012-13 season.
The loss is a huge one for the Flyers’ defense, especially given the assumed absence of Chris Pronger, the departure of free agent Matt Carle for Tampa Bay last month and the failed attempts to acquire defensemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. Meszaros, when healthy, is one of the team’s top D-men.
No matter how you look at it, the Flyers’ D is weaker now than it was a year ago.
The injury leaves Philly to start the season with a projected top-six of Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Bruno Gervais, and Andreas Lilja (one would expect Erik Gustafsson to be in the mix as well.)
So…P.K. Subban offer sheet, anyone?
Hat trick helps Ovechkin pass Lemieux, tie Yzerman for ninth on NHL goals list
An historic week for Alex Ovechkin was capped off with a hat trick Saturday afternoon during a 6-4 win over the Islanders. His three goals pushes him past Mario Lemieux and into ninth place with 692, tying him with Steve Yzerman.
Ovechkin opened the scoring and then passed Mario Lemieux for 10th all-time in the third period as the Capitals mounted their comeback. He ended his day with an empty-netter to seal the win and tie Yzerman. The Islanders led 4-1 entering the third period.
Powered by two consecutive hat tricks, Ovechkin has eight goals in his last three games and 10 in his previous six.
With three goals Saturday — the third time he’s recorded hat tricks in consecutive games — Ovechkin now has 34 on the season as he eyes a ninth 50-goal season. His hat trick was the 26th of his NHL career, tying him with Maurice Richard for eighth all-time.
Next in Ovechkin’s sights? Mark Messier, who finished with 694 goals in his career.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Dallas Stars activated Stephen Johns before their game Saturday night in Minnesota, clearing the way for the defenseman’s first game in almost 22 months.
Forward Radek Faksa was placed on injured reserve to make room for Johns on the active roster.
Johns has been out since late in the 2017-18 season because of post-traumatic headaches. The Stars have said the condition isn’t related to concussions.
The 27-year-old Johns hasn’t played since March 29, 2018, at the Wild. It was the last of a career-high 75 games in his third NHL season. Johns missed the last five games that year before sitting out all of last season as headaches persisted.
He played two games on a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars of the AHL before rejoining Dallas on Thursday.
The return of Johns could coincide with the Stars’ first game without defenseman Miro Heiskanen. The 20-year-old standout left Thursday’s loss to Buffalo with an upper-body injury.
Johns made his debut for Dallas late in the 2014-15 season and played in all 13 of the team’s playoff games as a rookie. He has 13 goals, 15 assists and 306 blocked shots in 150 career regular-season games.
Panthers down another goalie, injured Driedger to miss weeks
Cirelli recorded his first NHL hat trick as the Lightning steamrolled the Winnipeg Jets Friday evening. The 22-year-old scored twice in the opening period as the Bolts jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Cirelli hammered a feed from Ondrej Palat 9:27 into the game and then converted a nifty forehand-backhand maneuver to close out the first 20 minutes. Cirelli would complete the hat trick midway through the third period.
Malkin recorded two power-play assists to set up Pittsburgh’s two goals in its 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Sidney Crosby has received a lot of attention since returning from a 28-game absence earlier this week and added the game-winning goal Friday. However, it was Malkin who looked off the defender and delivered a perfect pass to set up the Penguins captain. Malkin has recorded 10 points in the previous six games.
The 26-year-old winger scored twice in Tampa Bay’s 7-1 win. Cirelli and Kucherov alternated goals as Tampa Bay jumped out to a 4-0 lead, including three in the opening period. Kucherov buried two tap-in opportunities to record goals 21 and 22 on the season. The Russian winger has five goals in his previous three games and the Lightning improved to 12-2-0 in the previous 14 games.
Highlights of the Night
Crosby extended his goal-scoring streak to three games when he buried a pretty feed from Malkin to propel the Penguins in overtime.