The other four healthy defensemen - Braydon Coburn (24:20), Matt Carle (21:30), Grossman (22:33) and Kubina (19:06) - logged a behemoth 87:29. And Kubina missed several shifts during the third period of last night's 1-0 victory in Washington. He took a puck in the face, requiring seven stitches postgame.
Those ice-time numbers are sustainable for the short term, especially since Coburn and Carle are two of the team's most physically fit players. But last night, it remained unclear exactly how long they will be expected to produce at that pace, since the Flyers would usually call an injury "day-to-day" if it was warranted.
Holmgren said earlier this season that he would only disclose an injury if it was not to the future detriment of the player.
Both Meszaros and Timonen completed Thursday night's win over the Islanders, though Timonen's ice time (16:00) was more than 5 minutes lower than his season average. Both players have dealt with chronic injuries in the past; Meszaros with shoulder issues, and he has undergone multiple surgeries during his career, while Timonen has been plagued by an uncooperative lower back.
Timonen, who turns 37 in less than 2 weeks, always has played through the pain. Last night, his ironman streak for consecutive games played was snapped at 248. It was the NHL's eighth-longest active streak. Including last night, Timonen has missed just 59 games during his 13-year career.
Rod Brind'Amour holds the Flyers' all-time streak at 484 games, a run that spanned from Feb. 24, 1993, to April 18, 1999.
Now, without Meszaros and Timonen for the foreseeable future, the Flyers' mettle in the playoff race will be seriously tested.
Just how desperate are the Flyers on the back end?
Lilja, 36, had been a healthy scratch for six straight games, having not skated since Feb. 16. Gustafsson, 23, has just 21 NHL games under his belt.
The Flyers' first choice, Marc-Andre Bourdon, was sent back to AHL Adirondack on Feb. 18 when they acquired Kubina. Bourdon has not played since then due to injury. He performed admirably in 39 games for the Flyers this season.
Oskars Bartulis, who also had a significant run with the Flyers in past years, is out with an upper-body injury. The Flyers can not afford defenseman Matt Walker's $1.8 million salary-cap hit without sending either Meszaros or Timonen to the long-term injured reserve first. Walker is playing for the Phantoms.
Burke's legacy lives
When Scott Hartnell was approached by Flyers scout Patrick Burke about participating in a public-service announcement encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to play hockey, he didn't think twice.
Burke, the son of Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, is championing the cause of his younger brother, Brendan, who was killed in a car accident in 2010 as a 21-year-old senior at the University of Miami (Ohio). Brendan Burke, a student-athlete and manager for the RedHawks nationally ranked hockey team, came out in 2009 and was outspoken against homophobia in sports.
Claude Giroux and Hartnell joined Patrick and Brian Burke and a slew of other NHL stars in the commercial, which aired for the first time on NBC yesterday. The theme of the commercial is, "If you can play, you can play" and "If you can skate, you can skate."
"It was a no-brainer," Hartnell said. "I saw the commercial and I got a bunch of tweets on it. It turned out really, really well.
"We live in a diverse country. It's not a white man's sport. There's all sorts of nationalities in our sport. We encourage everyone to play. It's a great sport. Everyone has fun with it, especially when you're a kid. It's not just about sport, but you learn a lot of things about real life and becoming a team."