After being a healthy scratch for two games, rookie defenseman Phil Myers returned to the Flyers lineup Thursday night against visiting Buffalo.
Robert Hagg sat out the game.
After the morning skate Thursday, coach Alain Vigneault said Hagg had played well and “competed real hard."
"I like his game, but Phil is a good, young player that we need to put back in. … I think with Phil, the potential is there. His decisions with the puck need to be a little bit better. That’s where he seems to be getting himself in trouble, but that size and that reach against that speed is definitely something we talked about and that’s why we’re putting him in.”
Myers, 22, had not played in three of the previous four games. He was sidelined by back spasms in one of those contests. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder entered Thursday with nine points (three goals, six assists) and a team-best plus-14 rating in 18 games.
As for being a healthy scratch recently, Myers said you “try not let it bother you and keep the right attitude and stay positive. It obviously [stinks] not being in the lineup, but it’s not in your control. All you can do is stay ready for the next opportunity, and that’s pretty much my mindset right now.”
He said he was trying to bring more consistency to his game and “just bringing it every night.”
Lately, Myers, Hagg, and Shayne Gostisbehere have been in and out of the lineup on the third defensive pairing.
“On defense, we’ve been getting some good performances, so we’ve had some decisions to make and you make them on the best interest of the team,” Vigneault said. “At the same time, there’s a little rotation there that needs to happen, and that’s what we’re doing.”
After being benched for three games, Gostisbehere had four goals in the nine games since returning to the lineup.
Eichel a late scratch
Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, who had a 17-game point streak, was scratched minutes before Thursday’s game. He took part in the warmups, and the Sabres then announced he had an upper-body injury.
Eichel was one shy of Gilbert Perreault’s 1971 streak for the longest in Sabres history. Perreault had 10 goals and 31 points during his 18-game run. Eichel had 16 goals and 31 points during his streak, but NHL rules say the streak ended once he missed the game.
Tyler Pitlick was back in the Flyers lineup as the fourth-line right winger, replacing Chris Stewart. ... Entering the game, Jake Voracek needed five assists to pass Eric Lindros and Rick MacLeish for sixth place on the Flyers’ all-time list.