PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Flyers are in the midst of an extended break before they return to game action on Friday night, when they will visit the Anaheim Ducks.

The Flyers are 13-7-3 on the season so far.  They haven’t played since Saturday’s loss against the Rangers (see game story).

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Forward Scott Hartnell says these days off are coming at a good time.

“We’ve got a lot of road games coming up here in December,” he notes, “so anytime you can get a few days off to rest the body, to kind of get your mind away from the hockey game, it’s a good thing.  So we’ve got a big push here in the month of December.”

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Hartnell’s play is one reason for the Flyers’ success so far this season.   The veteran forward has nine goals and ten assists in 23 games.

“I feel great,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “Playing with Claude Giroux and ‘Superstar’ Jaromir Jagr, it’s been a lot of fun.  We’ve been winning some hockey games, which is more important than points.  But it’s nice to contribute, put the puck in the back of the net, score, all that kind of stuff.  So you try and ride that as long as you can.”

The Flyers have had to overcome their share of injuries this season.  Of course the latest key cog to be sidelined was defenseman Chris Pronger (see related story).   But Hartnell says he has been impressed with some of the new, young faces that have been called upon to fill in with the Orange and Black.

“It’s nice to see these young kids come up from the minors, being draft picks or trades or whatever, come in and play some big minutes and play really well.  These guys are taking advantage of opportunities when they get them.  It’s great to see.  It’s nice to have some young faces in the dressing room.  They get fired up, they’re excited to be in the NHL and all that positiveness feeds out throughout the team.”

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As for Friday’s game with Anaheim, the Ducks have struggled to the tune of a 6-13-4 record, but Hartnell says they can’t focus on that poor mark.

“You can’t go into any team, no matter who they are or how bad they are playing, and think it’s going to be an easy win or whatever.  We have to bear down, play hard, play Flyers’ hockey and get after it.”

The Flyers and Ducks will face off at 10pm on Friday.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060




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