Flyers Notes: Flyers coach turning to Rinaldo on the penalty kill

Zac Rinaldo in action during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/AP)
Zac Rinaldo in action during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/AP)
Posted: November 17, 2013

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Flyers coach Craig Berube is gaining trust in winger Zac Rinaldo.

That was evident when Berube, for the first time this season, used Rinaldo on the penalty kill during a critical time in a game Wednesday.

"I'm excited about it," Rinaldo said, before playing a career-high on the penalty kill in Friday's game in Winnipeg. "The more responsibility, the better for me."

Rinaldo was used for 1 minute, 9 seconds on the penalty kill in Wednesday's 2-1 win in Pittsburgh. It was the third game this season he has received time while the Flyers were shorthanded, and Berube wants to use him more often as the season progresses.

"He's been working hard in practice, and we needed him there in that situation," Berube said. "He did a real good job in a tight game against a very good power play. I'd like to get him more time there. Keep working at it with him. It would be a good role for him."

Berube thinks Rinaldo can be effective penalty-killer partly because of his speed. "He can skate, and he's fearless and can block shots," he said. "And over time, he'll get the right reads. He understands the system."

Rinaldo said he doesn't do anything differently on than penalty kill than on five-on-five play.

"I'm more useful if I don't have a different mind-set. Just skate hard and play on the PK like it's my last shift," he said.

A year ago, Rinaldo played just 50 seconds on the penalty kill during the entire season.

Hextall on OT

Ron Hextall, the Flyers' assistant general manager, said he is in favor of increasing the overtime to as many as 10 minutes - the NHL is kicking around the idea - because it would help reduce the amount of games that end in shootouts.

The shootouts "individualize" games instead of rewarding teamwork, Hextall said.

Some Flyers prefer the overtime remaining at five minutes, including Vinny Lecavalier.

"I kind of like it the way it is," the veteran center said. "But the league and the players are open to it. Whatever makes the game better."

Breakaways

Hextall said he had not been contacted by Buffalo about the vacant general-manager's job and added that he was extremely happy in is position with the Flyers. . . . Entering Friday, Nick Grossmann was tied for sixth in the NHL with 48 blocked shots.

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