After being benched for three games, second-year defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere returned to the Flyers' lineup Thursday against the visiting New York Islanders.

"I just want him to come in and play hard without the puck, and play confidently with the puck," coach Dave Hakstol said in his pregame news conference.

A little over 12 minutes into the game, Gostisbehere set up Wayne Simmonds' power-play goal, the Flyers' first score in 134 minutes, 56 seconds.

Gostisbehere, 23, was paired with the 39-year-old Mark Streit for the first time this season. Hakstol said he didn't want to break up the other defensive units: Ivan Provorov and Andrew MacDonald, and Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning

"The other two pairs have played very well together," Hakstol said. "Those two groups have been a strength, and we want to keep them together."

Nick Schultz was a healthy scratch.

Hakstol said he liked having a "veteran presence" with Gostisbehere, who was paired with Manning in recent games. Gostisbehere continued to play the right side.

The second-year coach said Gostisbehere put in "good hard work days" during his benching.

Before the game, there was a moment of silence for Nick Bond, the 18-year-old hockey player who died Monday, a day after he collapsed at the Wissahickon Skating Club after leaving the ice during a game.

"Just a terrible situation," Hakstol said. "That's obviously the worst scenario of any situation. It sounds like he was just a tremendous young man."

The Flyers ECHL affiliate in Reading is staying put, according to a team official.

"We're thrilled with the partnership we have with Reading, and the location is great for us," assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan said.

There were reports that the Reading Royals, who have a multiyear agreement with the Flyers, could be headed to Portland, Maine, and play at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Spectra is the management firm contracted to run that arena. Comcast Spectacor owns the Flyers.

The Portland Pirates' AHL affiliate, which had been playing at the Cross Insurance Arena, left after last season and relocated in Springfield, Mass.

"Our job is to try to bring an East Coast Hockey League team to that arena, but it won't be a Flyers affiliate," said another source, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Maine Mariners were a onetime Flyers affiliate.

Steve Mason made his first start in the last four games. … The Flyers scored first Thursday for just the 19th time in 55 games. … Steve Coates returned to the radio booth after missing a couple of weeks following Achilles surgery.