BOSTON — After sitting our four games to spend time on conditioning, defenseman Andrew MacDonald was back in the Flyers' lineup Thursday in Boston.
In retrospect, McDonald said, he rushed back too soon from an unspecified injury. He missed most of training camp, but was deemed ready at the start of the season and played in the first five games and was mostly ineffective.
He spent the last week working out in the gym, getting his legs stronger, and feeling as if he was ready for the long haul.
"I was able to get some really good lifts in the gym, which I wasn't able to do through camp and through the start of the year because of games and practices," he said.
Before Thursday's game, MacDonald said the heavy lifting in the weightroom helped him to get "more stability and strength in the legs. I feel much better."
In his first five games this season, MacDonald said "just didn't have the juice I normally have, especially that first step, and for me that's pretty important. I just didn't have that explosiveness or power that allows me to jump in plays that I normally would."
He was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere on Thursday, and Christian Folin was a healthy scratch.
Weal stays in lineup
On Wednesday, coach Dave Hakstol had Mikail "Misha" Vorobyev centering the third line in practice and all but confirmed he would return to the lineup Thursday.
But in the 24 hours after practice, he reconsidered. Jordan Weal remained as the third-line center Thursday and Vorobyev sat out for the fourth straight game.
Having a 21-year-old sit in the press box, of course, is not conducive to his growth, so it's fair to wonder if the rookie will soon be sent to the AHL's Phantoms so he can play.
Goalie Michal Neuvirth was activated from the injured-reserve list and served as Brian Elliott's backup….James van Riemsdyk, sidelined with a knee injury that is expected to keep him out of the lineup until mid-November, made the trip to Boston but did not skate before practice. "Hopefully soon," he said….Ivan Provorov entered Thursday leading the Flyers with an average of 24 minutes, 59 seconds of ice time per game, which placed him 11th in the NHL….Among the 135 players who have taken 40 or more faceoffs this season, five Flyers are in the top 20 in winning percentage: Scott Laughton (second), Claude Giroux (fourth), Weal (fifth), Jori Lehtera (13th), and Sean Couturier (20th). In their first nine games, the Flyers led the NHL with a 57.4 percent success rate in faceoffs…..Many of the Flyers' dads who made the fathers-sons trip attended the World Series game Wednesday at Fenway Park, but they left early because of the cold temperatures and watched the last few innings in a bar.