Timonen and Voracek look strong in return against Devils
While it may have only been a single game, it proved to be a positive one for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Coming off of a frustrating 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over the same team proved to exact some revenge on a division opponent who is hot on the Flyers heels for fifth place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference.
However, that wasn’t the only reason Tuesday night allowed both players and fans the ability to leave Wells Fargo Center with a smile on their face.
After missing a handful of games each, Jakub Voracek and Kimmo Timonen made their return to the lineup and looked rather good in doing so.
Although, no one should make the mistake of assuming that means that coming back was easy.
"Well the first half of the game was pretty tough and I was kind of slow,” Voracek said during his media availability following the game. “My legs didn't go and my hands were kind of off.”
While that may have been the case early on, the 22-year old forward certainly adjusted quickly.
“After 30 minutes I get kind of into the game and finally got going,” he said.
Kind of is bit of an understatement.
After being on the wrong-side of a Nicklas Kronwall check that forced the young forward to receive stitches all-around his mouth and left many wondering if he suffered a concussion, Voracek put together an impressive showing in his first game back.
He looked strong on the puck, which proved to make it difficult for New Jersey players to battle him off it. His skating looked similar to what has been seen thus far this season and he didn’t appear to shy away from contact.
This was made evident in the third when Voracek gave the Flyers a two-goal by battling for a loose puck in front of the New Jersey crease.
Prior to the sound of the final horn, he added an assist on Daniel Briere’s empty net goal.
In total, he finished the game with a little over 14 minutes of ice time (right around his season average), three shots and two points.
Timonen’s return could be considered a success as well.
After missing five games, the veteran defenseman looked to be playing to his normal standards and didn’t display any signs for concern.
Although he too, much like Voracek, felt a little stiff during his first few shifts.
“Well, I haven’t skated for 7 days, which is quite a long time during the season but…a little rusty,” Timonen said when asked how he felt after Tuesday’s game.
However, rust wasn’t his only concern.
With so many regulars injured on the backend, head coach Peter Laviolette was forced to mix around the defense pairings.
Even before the injuries, the coach had implemented some experimentation that moved Timonen away from his normal pairing with Braydon Coburn.
On Tuesday, Timonen was paired with Matt Carle and played on the right side.
While it was a bit of a change it was only a minor hurdle.
“Playing the right side is a little different for me but we got two points, we played a really good game,” he said. “I’m happy to be back.”
Timonen finished the night with 19 minutes of ice-time, which is a positive sign considering he played just 14 minutes and 16 minutes, respectively in the two games prior to his five-game absence.
His season average is 21:18.
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