Hextall downplays Lecavalier injury; Flyers face streaking Isles
Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier, who has been a healthy scratch most of the season, has been bothered by a a stiff back and did not take part in the morning skate Tuesday.
That fueled speculation he may have to go on the long-term injured list.
Not happening, GM Ron Hextall said before Tuesday's game against the Islanders.
"All I'm saying is he needed a recovery day," Hextall said, "He's been skating a lot lately."
Lecavalier, 35, has 411 goals and 932 points in his career.
Coach Dave Hakstol said that he has tried to treat Lecavalier with respect, and that the center/winger has been professional all season.
"He shows up and he works hard every day and he's a good teammate," Hakstol said. "It's a difficult situation for him, and I want to approach it with respect."
Hakstol has had a handful of conversations this season with Lecavalier.
"Have we talked a lot - every day? No. But we've talked," he said.
Has it been an awkward situation for the rookie coach?
"You deal with every situation with an honest approach," Hakstol said.
Flyers-Isles. The Flyers will try to end the Islanders' 5-0-2 run when the teams meet Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers are trying to rebound from a listless 4-1 loss to Columbus on Saturday.
"We looked like a tired team, and I don't think we played the right way," Hakstol said.
The Islanders, one of the league's fastest teams, will face Steve Mason. Mason is 5-2-3 with a 2.23 GAA and .933 save percentage in 11 career appearances against the Isles.
Voracek's goal. Right winger Jake Voracek (one goal in 27 games) said he still has aspirations of reaching 20 goals. "But I've got to start scoring soon," he said.
Voracek does have nine assists over his last 11 games.
Ghost streaking. The Shane Gostisbehere-Brandon Manning defensive pairing has been clicking. The players lead the Flyers with plus-2 ratings, and Hakstol called Manning a "good leader" who has made Gostisbehere's transition to the NHL easier.
Gostisbehere has eight points in 11 games since being recalled from the Phantoms.
Voracek said Gostisbehere has "speed, lots of confidence. He's beating a lot of people one on one, which helps the offense to create the rushes. He's been outstanding since he's been up."
Breakaways. Hakstol coached Islanders forward Brock Nelson (eight goals, 15 points) at North Dakota. "He's a quiet guy, but a very competitive guy, and I think you're seeing that come out in his play," Hakstol said. ... Claude Giroux had a maintenance day and did not take part in the morning skate; he will center Michael Raffl and Brayden Schenn tonight. ... The Flyers on Tuesday night will start a tough stretch in which they play three games in four nights: the Islanders, at St. Louis on Thursday and at Dallas on Friday.