DENVER - After two straight losses, Flyers coach Craig Berube made lineup changes for Wednesday night's game in Colorado.
Saying he wanted more speed on defense and the top line, Berube put defenseman Michael Del Zotto back into the lineup after scratching him for nine straight games, and he moved left winger Matt Read next to center Claude Giroux and right winger Jake Voracek.
Michael Raffl, who had been playing well on the highly successful top unit, slid to the third line with Sean Couturier and R.J. Umberger.
"It's just to add a little more speed there. I think with [Read], he played there before and he's had success with them," Berube said before the game.
Read entered the night with just three goals - seven fewer than Raffl - and had one goal in his last 20 games.
"Jake and G have been getting checked hard the last couple of games," Berube said. "I thought I'd add a little bit more speed on the line, a little bit more puck ability and things like that."
Del Zotto was paired with Andrew MacDonald, and Luke Schenn was scratched. Schenn was plus-5 in the nine games he had played since an earlier benching.
Berube said that Schenn has played well but that he used Del Zotto because of Colorado's speed. "Tough decision, obviously, to take Luke out," Berube said.
Del Zotto, who has eight points and a minus-6 rating in 29 games, called it a "relief" to return to the lineup.
"It's always tough watching, especially nine in a row," he said after the morning skate. "I'm really excited to get back in."
The 24-year-old Del Zotto said the most difficult part of his benching was staying upbeat "and not losing your swagger and confidence when you do get back in there."
Del Zotto was occasionally scratched with the Rangers and Predators last season, but he got off to a strong start with the Flyers before going into a bit of a tailspin.
"I was feeling pretty good about my game and feeling like I was getting my confidence back," he said of his early-season play. "That was the toughest part" about the benching.
Berube said Del Zotto was playing too much "one-on-one" and that led to his benching.
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