Flyers' Simmonds, MacDonald done for the year
The Flyers' win over Chicago on Wednesday night came at a price.
Forward Wayne Simmonds and defenseman Andrew MacDonald will both miss the remaining seven games of the season, general manager Ron Hextall announced after the game. Both players blocked shots in the third period, resulting in apparent fractures.
Simmonds limped off the bench at the end of the game with a left leg injury. MacDonald appeared to get caught with a shot on his right hand.
Simmonds, 26, scored his 100th career goal as a Flyer (284 games) earlier in the night. He will ultimately fall short of the elusive 30-goal plateau - ending his season with 28, one short of the career-high 29 he set last year. Only 9 players in the NHL currently have 30 goals.
MacDonald, 29, finishes out a trying first full season with the Flyers with another injury. He injured his knee in October, causing him to miss 10 consecutive games until Nov. 19. After that, he's been a healthy scratch for six games at varying times in the year, including three in a row after missing a game to attend the funeral of his grandmother in Nova Scotia. He admitted playing under the expectations of a six-year, $30 million deal has been burdensome.
Vinny Lecavalier is expected to replace Simmonds in the lineup. Lecavalier was a healthy scratch on Wednesday for the third consecutive game, with Craig Berube choosing to dress three players who started the year in the AHL, plus Zac Rinaldo, over the 410-goal scorer.
Brandon Manning could be re-called from the Phantoms. The Flyers may be short a body on the blue line, depending on the results of a doctors visit with Luke Schenn, who missed his second straight with a "lower-body" injury. Schenn did not participate in the morning skate on Wednesday and cut short a couple on-ice sessions in Edmonton last week. Hextall said a medical update on Schenn was pending.
Without both Simmonds and MacDonald, the Flyers could stand to climb in the NHL draft lottery - though Wednesday's win hurts. The 22nd place Flyers are now three points clear of New Jersey and two points up on Columbus, though they could fall to the 6th worst mark, which would up their lottery odds to 7.5 percent instead of the current 6 percent.
On Twitter: @frank_seravalli