Flyers news

Seeler, Drysdale potentially getting closer to rejoining Flyers' lineup

Both defensemen took part in the team's morning skate Tuesday at Madison Square Garden

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NEW YORK — The Flyers saw a couple of good developments Tuesday with their depleted back end.

Nick Seeler and Jamie Drysdale participated in the team's morning skate at Madison Square Garden. Both defensemen have been out week to week with injuries.

Neither will be back in the lineup when the Flyers take on the first-place Rangers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), but the fact that they're on the team's two-game road trip is a promising sign. After facing New York, the Flyers visit the Canadiens on Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

It's uncertain when Seeler or Drysdale will return to game action. They were not made available to the media after morning skate.

Seeler suffered an injury to the area of his left foot and ankle over three weeks ago when he blocked a shot. The 30-year-old is arguably the Flyers' truest defender. He has a team-best plus-15 rating and was leading the NHL in blocked shots before his injury.

Drysdale has missed a month with an upper-body injury, presumably to the area of his left shoulder and arm. The 21-year-old was out for the majority of last season with the Ducks because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's one of the Flyers' top puck-moving blueliners.

Rasmus Ristolainen, also week to week with an upper-body injury, was rehabbing last week at Flyers Training Center. The 29-year-old defenseman was not with the team in New York.

Because of the injuries, the Flyers have turned to rookies Ronnie Attard and Adam Ginning. Four of the team's seven healthy defensemen are 25 years old or younger.

The Flyers' grueling seven-game stretch against contenders wraps up Tuesday night. The club has gone 2-3-1 so far and has remained in playoff position, holding third place of the Metropolitan Division.

"I think we've been real consistent in how we've had to play going through a gauntlet of the top teams," head coach John Tortorella said Tuesday before morning skate. "Especially away from the puck, I think the biggest thing we've really tried to concentrate on was be connected in all three zones. That has really helped us grind away here.

"I respect our group, how banged up we are, some youth in there — quite a bit of youth. I mean, I watch them come on the bus the other day, we've got quite a few of those young guys coming on here, some more from the Phantoms. They have played so well as a team. It's the only way we can survive, is playing as a team."

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