NHL notes: Flyers' Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with fractured back

Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a fracture in his...

Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a fracture in his lower back. (USA Today)

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, Last Updated: 12:56 AM ET

Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier will be out for at least three weeks with a fractured back.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced the news Sunday, a day after Lecavalier skated in Dallas. He said Lecavalier's back tightened after he skated and became worse as the day went on.

"He had an X-ray in Dallas and they found something on the X-ray that didn't look right, so we flew him back to Philadelphia to get him into our own doctors' hands," Holmgren said. "He had an MRI done and they found a non-displaced fracture in his lower back."

Lecavalier had missed three games with what the Flyers were calling back spasms. He was hurt during the third period of Philly's game against the Nashville Predators Nov. 30.

"We're looking at 3-4 more weeks," Holmgren said. "We'll take it a bit slower now that we know what we're dealing with. When Vinny starts feeling a little better, we'll get more aggressive with his rehab."

Lecavalier has nine goals and five assists in 22 games this season.

NO BIG GOODBYE FOR BRODEUR

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur doesn't want any mushy, Mariano Rivera-style farewells if he does decide to retire at the end of this season.

Brodeur, who is arguably the best goalie in history, hasn't announced his intentions yet. But if he does decide to end his career, he wants to go out quietly, not with pomp and circumstance like Rivera did in his final season with the New York Yankees.

"That's not me," he told the Star-Ledger. "Hockey is a lot different than other sports, like baseball, which tends to do that. They've done it in hockey, but especially for a goalie concentration is so important."

Brodeur, the NHL's career leader in regular-season wins, shutouts and games played, has turned back the clock a bit this season. He's gone 7-7-2 with a 2.25 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 16 games with the struggling Devils.

RANGERS' STAAL STALLED

New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal missed Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals with a sore neck.

But the fear is Staal, who was hurt when he was hit by New Jersey Devils forward Reid Boucher Saturday, may be dealing with concussion-like symptoms. Staal missed 36 games due to a concussion in 2011-12.

"Marc at this time is being treated for neck issues that are causing him to have some symptoms," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said before Sunday's game. "We're not sure yet if the symptoms are caused because of the neck issues caused from the hit. Obviously with his history, we're taking precautions. We'll probably know more here in the next day or two."

Michael Del Zotto took Staal's spot in the lineup after being a healthy scratch against the Devils.

ISLANDERS TALK IT OUT

The free-falling New York Islanders are slipping into desperation mode.

The Islanders called a players-only meeting after losing to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night. It was the ninth straight loss for the Isles, who are now 10 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It was just guys talking, trying to talk some things out," Islanders forward Colin McDonald told Newsday. "We're just looking for anything to get us out of this."

The meeting came on the heels of captain John Tavares imploring his teammates to "have a lot more pride" after the Islanders lost their eighth straight earlier this week. The message apparently didn't get through.

It's a broken record right now," defenceman Matt Carkner said.

BRIEFLY

The Chicago Blackhawks activated defenceman Michael Kostka off injured reserve Sunday after calling him up from Rockford of the AHL, where he played two games on a conditioning stint. Kotka missed 23 games with a broken foot ... Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly was put on long-term injured reserve with a fractured right fibula. Kelly, who was hurt Saturday against Pittsburgh, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The Bruins also put defenceman Adam McQuaid on IR due to a groin injury ... The Vancouver Canucks called up defenceman Yannick Weber from Utica of the AHL. Weber played 10 games with the Canucks earlier this season but cleared waivers and was sent down in mid-November ... Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman James Wisniewski will miss a week with an upper-body injury, coach Todd Richards said Sunday. Wisniewski leads Columbus defencemen in scoring with two goals and 16 assists.


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