VOORHEES, N.J. — After finally bringing a close to their losing streak at 10 games, the Flyers are hopeful for some reinforcements and a push in the other direction.
The Flyers continue a five-game homestand Thursday night when they host the Lightning (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). They opened the home swing Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over the Islanders to halt an 0-7-3 skid. They saw the return of Scott Laughton, but were missing five other forwards and top-pair defenseman Tony DeAngelo.
DeAngelo and Travis Konecny are game-time decisions tonight. Both sounded optimistic for a return against Tampa Bay after taking part in the team's optional morning skate. They'll skate in warmups at the Wells Fargo Center before a final decision is made.
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When Konecny went down Nov. 17 with an injury to his right hand, the Flyers had lost their fifth straight. The 25-year-old winger was leading the Flyers in goals (seven) and points (19).
"It's difficult," Konecny said Thursday of watching. "I was in it for the first half of that 10-game stretch and it wasn't easy."
Konecny practiced Wednesday, which marked the first time he could use his right hand for gripping his stick somewhat normally.
"The key was just letting it heal so long and not touching it all," he said.
Konecny was activated off of injured reserve Thursday afternoon. In a corresponding roster move, Kieffer Bellows was placed on waivers. If the 24-year-old winger clears waivers Friday afternoon, he'll stay in the organization and likely head to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
The Flyers claimed Bellows off of waivers Oct. 27 from the Islanders.
DeAngelo missed Tuesday's victory and didn't practice Wednesday because of a lower-body injury. The 27-year-old defenseman has been banged up since last Friday when he blocked a shot during the Flyers' 4-1 loss to the Penguins.
"Felt pretty good today," DeAngelo said. "A lot better than the last two days. Way better today, was able to do a little more and have a little more power. Good sign."
Cam Atkinson, recovering from an upper-body injury, practiced Monday and Wednesday in full capacity.
"Today was a scheduled day off for him," general manager Chuck Fletcher said Thursday. "He's been ramping up the intensity.
"He's made progress. Still a little bit more to go, but it's great that he's out there skating and practicing."
The 33-year-old winger's injury has lingered and did not heal as hoped.
"It's something he dealt with in the past, I can tell you that," Fletcher said. "He was able to come back pretty quickly from it. This time, it's just taking a little bit longer, a little bit more frustrating for him. The protocols that worked last time haven't worked as effectively this time, so we're doing everything we can to get him back."
Head coach John Tortorella had expressed optimism about Atkinson's status for the Oct. 13 season opener in the days leading up to it. However, Atkinson has yet to play this season. The Flyers are hoping, though, that he has turned a corner.
"We're obviously being a little bit precautious right now," Atkinson said Monday. "But I'm definitely going to be back sooner than later."
James van Riemsdyk had an appointment Thursday with hand specialist Dr. Robert N. Hotchkiss in New York. He underwent surgery Oct. 28 for a broken left index finger and was expected to be out six weeks. He's now around the five-week mark.
The 33-year-old winger has been able to rehab skate during his recovery.
Sean Couturier, who had a second back surgery at the end of October, will see a doctor Dec. 12 for his six-week checkup.
"He's doing well," Fletcher said, "but obviously at that appointment, we'll get more information."
Fletcher said Couturier will have another appointment at 10 weeks, which is when the center could be back on the ice for rehab work. Couturier, who turns 30 next week, is a month-plus into his three-to-four-month recovery.
Wade Allison (oblique/hip) has not been seen on the ice at Flyers Training Center among the rehab group. The 25-year-old winger has been out since Nov. 12. On Nov. 22, the Flyers announced Allison would be out approximately two to three weeks.
The club enters December at 8-10-5.
"The hope is to build that foundation of how we want to play and reestablish that identity," Fletcher said. "And then obviously we have to find a way to add more talent. As we get a couple players back from injury here, I think that will improve our talent level. But clearly we have work to do."
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