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Flyers injuries give top prospect early opportunity

Gostisbehere is an offensive-minded defenseman and a top Flyers' prospect.Getty Images

The Flyers defense doesn’t resemble the group Ron Hextall hoped to have on the ice throughout his first season as GM.

With Kimmo Timonen out indefinitely due to blood clots, Braydon Coburn now out another few weeks and Andrew MacDonald the latest defenseman to hit the infirmary (expected to miss a month), the Flyers have called upon rookie Shayne Gostisbehere to join the NHL ranks a bit ahead of schedule.

“He told me it’s not a perfect world, things happen, injuries happen of course,” the rookie said of his conversation with Hextall upon being called up from the AHL this weekend. “He told me not to try to do too much out there just get some quality minutes and it’s a great learning experience, and take everything in.”

It wasn’t a blemishless game for Gostisbehere, but he didn’t make any detrimental mistakes and he did get a good shot on goal early in his NHL debut.

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“I thought he was fine,” Flyers head coach Craig Berube said. “Took him a few shifts to get out there with the power play, but when he got out there and settled down he did some good things. I thought he moved the puck well, got up the ice, was aggressive when he had to be.”

The Flyers got a big 4-2 win over the Red Wings Saturday, giving Gostisbehere a pretty good first 60 minutes under his belt. His teammates made sure he got off to a good start in Orange and Black.

“He did great,” Nick Grossmann said. “I said before, ‘just have fun kid,’ and I think he played great. A couple mistakes here and there, but everyone makes mistakes. I had mistakes tonight. That’s the name of the game. But lots of good passes, moved his feet. He’s a special player, so he’ll be good for us.”

 
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