Flyers Notes: MacDonald fits in well next to Luke Schenn

Flyers' Sean Couturier so close to scoring on Blackhawks' goalie Antti Raanta during the second period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer )
Flyers' Sean Couturier so close to scoring on Blackhawks' goalie Antti Raanta during the second period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer ) (Steven M. Falk)
Posted: March 20, 2014

Luke Schenn says he has been comfortable with all of his defensive partners this season, but the Flyers defenseman seems to have developed a quick chemistry with his latest blue-line mate, Andrew MacDonald.

Heading into Tuesday night's win over Chicago, Schenn had been paired with MacDonald for five games since his partner was acquired from the New York Islanders before the trade deadline. Schenn is a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, while MacDonald is a smooth skater and a puck carrier.

"I think they've worked well together and complemented each other," coach Craig Berube said before the game.

Schenn, who entered Tuesday at plus-1 for the season - and plus-9 in his last 14 games - seems more in control with MacDonald by his side.

"He's just real steady out there; he's responsible with the puck, he makes a good first pass," Schenn said of MacDonald. "And he doesn't seem to really ever get caught out of position. I feel fortunate and lucky to get the chance to play with him, and I think we're getting more comfortable as we go."

Before MacDonald arrived, Schenn had been paired with Andrej Meszaros, since traded to Boston, or Erik Gustafsson for most of the season. He also spent some time with Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit.

"I've kind of bounced around with a few different partners this year. I like playing with everyone, to be honest," Schenn said. "Gus is a great player. Mez was good. I think just getting the chance to play with a guy and build chemistry for a few games in a row [is beneficial]. You kind of have a better idea where he's going to be out there and the positioning."

MacDonald said he and Schenn were "keeping it simple, trying to get it into the forwards' hands as quick as we can."

"We're growing as partners," Schenn said, adding this is the time of year when there is more urgency because of the magnitude of late-season games.

"Everyone is elevating their play," he said, "and in order to be a good team, every individual tries to be a piece of that puzzle."

Breakaways

Goalie Steve Mason, who had started eight straight games before getting a rest Tuesday, is 25-9-5 since Nov. 9. . . . Claude Giroux went into the night with 49 points, tops in the NHL since Dec. 11. Sidney Crosby was second with 45 points in that span.

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