Flyers Notes: Downie moves onto the third line

Flyers forward Steve Downie. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Flyers forward Steve Downie. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Posted: January 30, 2014

After he was a healthy scratch in the previous game, winger Steve Downie returned to the lineup Tuesday against Detroit and was placed on the third line for the first time since Jan. 11.

Downie was reunited with Sean Couturier and Matt Read, a highly effective trio for most of December.

"I'm looking for him to be an intense hockey player," coach Craig Berube said after Tuesday's morning skate. "The Steve Downie I know wins one-on-one battles in the corner, comes up with loose pucks, is strong on the puck, and has a heavy stick. That's what we're looking for."

Downie entered the night without a point in his last 14 games. He says he is healthy, but he has not been the same player since he returned from an upper-body injury on Dec. 28.

Rinaldo close

Winger Zac Rinaldo missed his 10th straight game because of a left high-ankle sprain, but he said he was close to returning. He is expected to make the West Coast trip.

Trainer's milestone

Jim McCrossin, the Flyers' trainer/conditioning coach, took part in his 1,500th career game Tuesday. He has been in the league for 17 seasons - 16 with the Flyers, one with Hartford.

"I'm hoping for another 1,500," McCrossin said.

Meszaros sits

Berube said he hasn't been happy with Andrej Meszaros' defensive play, and the defenseman was a healthy scratch for the second straight game and 22d time this season.

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