KANATA, Ontario — Travis Konecny didn’t seem interested in revenge for that violent hit he took from Mark Borowiecki two weeks ago. In fact, the Flyers winger blamed himself for being in position Dec. 7 to be drilled by the Ottawa defenseman, who has been suspended for crossing the violence line in the past.
“I should know who is on the ice at all times,” Konecny said Tuesday. "He’s definitely a player who is going to take advantage of a player who is not looking. It’s my fault. I didn’t have my head up.”
It’s a good bet he’ll have his head up Saturday when the Flyers visit the Senators for their penultimate game before the Christmas break. He might also have a little more muscle behind him in the Flyers lineup.
The Senators are one of the poorest teams in the Eastern Conference, according to the standings. But the eye test suggests they are better than 14th place among the 16 in the East. They beat the Flyers in Ottawa and had them tied with five minutes left in that Dec. 7 game, which featured Konecny leaving with a concussion, two fights, and plenty of chirping. Senators agitator Brady Tkachuk finally had enough and mugged Flyers agitator Scott Laughton in the final minute.
Laughton is on injured reserve and will not play, but it looks as if Chris Stewart will. The Flyers, on Friday, sent David Kase down to the AHL, which clears the way for the Flyers’ primary policeman (Stewart) to join the lineup.
Ottawa is 3-1-2 since last playing the Flyers, including Thursday night’s win over Nashville when red-hot Anthony Duclair scored in overtime. It was his 10th goal in the last 10 games. Backup goalie Marcus Hogberg picked up his first NHL win filling in for backup Anders Nilsson, who has a concussion. The Senators’ No. 1 goalie is Craig Anderson. He had to leave that Dec. 7 game with a knee injury, but is healthy again.
James van Riemsdyk was credited with two goals Thursday, playing mostly even-strength shifts with Kevin Hayes and Nic Aube-Kubel. JVR has multi-point games in three of his last six, and his heating up is a good sign for the Flyers, who are dealing with some injuries up front. Most notably to Oskar Lindblom (Ewing’s sarcoma).
“We need him to continue,” coach Alain Vigneault said of van Riemsdyk. “I need him to play well with the loss of Oskar ... on the left side. We need him to step up and play important minutes and do what he is doing for us right now.”