Erik Gustafsson Called Up By Philadelphia Flyers

Photo via NHL.com

Photo via NHL.com

By Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky)

Another defenseman has apparently bit the dust. The Philadelphia Flyers have called up Erik Gustafsson, a move that was certainly in correlation to the injury top defenseman Kimmo Timonen sustained Friday night. Timonen was injured midway through the game and never came out for the third and final period with what GM Paul Holmgren described as a “lower body” injury.

The extent of the 37 year-old’s injury is yet to publicly be made known, but Philadelphia called up Gustafsson prior to their game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, a sign that the Flyers may be without Timonen for an extended period of time. To make room for Gustafsson on the roster, the team sent Andreas Lilja down to the Adirondack Phantoms.

After missing time with an injured ankle, the Flyers kept the 24 year old in the AHL to get him back up to game speed. And with Timonen going down with an injury, the organization felt now would be an appropriate time to recall him. In 32 games for the Phantoms this season, he has 4 goals and 14 assists. However, he’s certainly not lacking in NHL game experience. He spent 37 total games with the Flyers last year, including 7 playoff games, and tallied a total of 7 points.

Although he’s not nearly the offensive defenseman that Timonen is, “Gus” will certainly be able to contribute on the other end of the ice. For a team that is built on creating traffic in the crease, Gustafsson’s ability to shoot the puck on net will allow for the Flyers to continue to get redirection goals. The loss of Timonen will certainly hurt for Philadelphia, but Gustafsson is more than capable of filling the void.

In other news, it’ll be a battle of the backup netminders in Montreal, as Brian Boucher, who is getting his first start of the year, will take on Peter Budaj.

Update: Kimmo Timonen will play tonight versus Montreal, according to 6ABC’s Jeff Skversky. Quite the surprising turn of events.

Jake Pavorsky is a contributor for TheHockeyGuys.net. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.

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