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Drop The Puck Already: Flyers-Canucks

Patrick skates, a Vigneault homecoming, same lines and other notes from both team's morning skate

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers

Typically not a fan of morning skates, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault gathered the team in for a quick skate for a few reasons, despite the lines and special teams all remaining the same.

Below are news & notes based off the morning skate of both teams as the Flyers get set to take on the Canucks:

VIGNEAULT: "It just got to the point where I felt if we just touched the ice once before, whether that be a morning skate because we were given a day off or if we practiced before, I would keep them off the ice. I like bringing the guys in for meetings, but I think in-between games if you touch the ice once it's more than enough and you can do other stuff off the ice that's going to help your game." 

* As far as Vigneault is concerned, the return to Rogers Arena is a personal one for him as well after spending seven full seasons. He is the club's all-time leader in games coached (540) and victories (313) in the regular season.

* Speaking of special teams, tonight marks a clash of opposing units as the Canucks are perfect on the PK (10-for-10) with the Flyers operating at over 40% on the man advantage (3-for-7) including two power-play goals in their last game against the Devils.

* Flyers leading scorer Travis Konecny will face off against a family member in tonight's game - cousin Bo Horvat, who was recently named captain of the Canucks.

KONECNY: "We always knew we were cousins but he was a little older than me though so we never really connected when we were younger but as I started getting more into hockey and into the NHL I started training with him and pushing myself and I think the relationship grew over the last four-five years."

* Nolan Patrick didn't skate with the team on Friday, but took to the ice for the morning skate. Patrick jumped in on 1-on-1, 2-on-1 rushes up ice, puck retrieval down low with shots on the goaltender and one-timers from the corner face off dots.

PATRICK: "It's improving and I'm getting better... Obviously it's nice being back. The guys were gone for awhile in Prague and you're by yourself and you feel detached from the teams, so whenever I can be around when I'm injured it's nice to feel like a part of the team again."

* As far as lines - here's a refresher:

LINE PLAY - FLYERS
Giroux - Hayes - Voracek
Lindblom - Couturier - Konecny
Van Riemsdyk - Laughton - Twarnyski
Bunnaman - Raffl - Pitlick

Provorov - Braun
Sanheim - Niskanen
Hagg - Gostisbehere

*Hart
Elliott

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
* It will be the fourth straight start in net for Jacob Markstrom, who despite a losing record for both this season and career-wise against the Flyers, has good numbers in terms of GAA & SV PCT... He is 1-2-0 to start the year with a 2.37 goals-against average and .922 save percentage, while owning a 2-3-0 career mark against the Flyers with a 1.45 GAA and .945 save percentage.

* Head Coach Travis Green announced no other changes to the lineup as forward Loui Eriksson will not play for the second straight game. Green also addressed the challenge that comes with facing a Flyers team they see only twice per-year, particularly the two veteran d-men (Justin Braun & Matt Niskanen) that were added in the off-season to compliment the younger blueliners still developing.

* After the Flyers faced No. 1 overall pick this past summer, forward Jack Hughes, in Wednesday's game vs. Devils, the Flyers now face his older brother, defenseman Quinn Hughes who was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and is off to a good start to his rookie campaign with a goal and two assists in three games.

HUGHES: "My goal is to keep building trust with Coach Green by playing good defensively and then seeing what I can do offensively." (Courtesy of @Canucks)

LINE PLAY - CANUCKS
Miller - Pettersson - Boeser
Pearson - Horvat - Leivo
Ferland - Gaudette - Sutter
Schaller - Beagle - Virtanen

Edler - Myers
Hughes - Tanev
Benn - Stecher

*Markstrom
Demko

Puck Drop is 10 p.m. on the East Coast and you can tune in to NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live on the radio with Tim Saunders and Steve Coates on 97.5 The Fanatic

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