Facing a vital crossroads to their 2019-20 season, the Philadelphia Flyers return home from a week that was filled with almost unrelenting adversity and bad news, off the ice as well as on. They will face the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night, looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
Below are news & notes to come out of the morning skate:
* The team finally got a desperately needed dose of hopefulness on Tuesday. Travis Konecny, sidelined since suffering a concussion in the first period of the Dec. 7 game against the Ottawa Senators, is slated to return to the lineup.
KONECNY: "It wasn't a matter of having guys out of the lineup. We've got to get back playing the way we have been playing, and it'll come back around for us again."
* Additionally, and more importantly, everyone's spirits were lifted by a Tuesday morning visit from Oskar Lindblom, who is about to embark on his fight against a Ewing sarcoma. The team has dedicated the rest of the season to the young Swedish forward, who will likely be unable to play again this season while undergoing medical treatment.
GIROUX: "It was great to see him again. Very emotional to see him again."
* Carter Hart will get the start in goal for the Flyers. He has started four of the team's last five games.
* With Joel Farabee serving the first game of a three-game suspension imposed by the National Hockey League, stemming from an interference major penalty and game misconduct Fararee incurred on Sunday in Winnipeg, the Flyers have juggled lineup combinations once again. See "Line Play" below.
VIGNEAULT: "You lose one player to a suspension and you get another player [Konecny]. It's about finding ways to compete. It's about finding ways to win, and that's what we're gonna do tonight."
* Tuesday's game is a special one for Flyers rookie forward David Kase (making his home debut) and his older brother, Anaheim forward Ondrej Kase. Their family has made the trip from the Czech Republic to see the two brothers play in person.
* Tyler Pitlick (concussion) and Michael Raffl (LTIR, broken pinky finger on his right hand) both participated in the morning skate in non-contact jerseys.
LINE PLAY - FLYERS
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
van Riemsdyk - Hayes - Aube-Kubel
Kase - Frost - Voracek
Andreoff - Vorobyev - Stewart
Provorov - Niskanen
Sanheim - Braun
Hägg - Gostisbehere
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
* Dallas Eakins' club is 4-5-1 over its last 10 games. The team has periodically stepped up big this season -- such as in a 4-1 road win over defending Stanley Cup champion St, Louis -- but has been unable to get into a sustained groove.
* Anaheim is coming off a 4-3 home shootout win over the New York Rangers on Saturday. The game concluded a home-heavy portion of the schedule in late November to mid-December. The team will not return home again for another game until after the league's three-night Christmas break.
* Tuesday's game in Philly begins a four-in-six gauntlet in the east. The Flyers game is the front end of a road back-to-back for Anaheim that will shift to New Jersey on Wednesday to play the Devils. The team then faces a weekend Empire State back-to-back on the weekend against the New York Islanders (Saturday) and Rangers (Sunday).
LINE PLAY - DUCKS
Shore - Getzlaf - Kase
Rakell - Henrique - Silfverberg
Comtois - Steel - Terry
Deslauriers - Grant - Rowney
Lindholm - Manson
Fowler - Gudbranson
Larsson - Del Zotto