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Drop The Puck Already: Flyers-Leafs

Elliott starts, Andreoff's position and more from both team's morning skate

by @NHLFlyers

The Flyers gathered at Scotiabank Arena for a rare, full morning skate ahead of their game tonight that will see Alain Vigneault's club (8-5-2, 18pts) face off against Mike Babcock and the Maple Leafs (9-5-3, 21pts). Below are a quick look at the storylines to emerge at the rink ahead of puck drop.

* The morning skate revealed that Brian Elliott will get the call in net vs. Maple Leafs with Carter Hart getting the call vs. Bruins in Boston on Sunday night. 

VIGNEAULT: "I feel like in today's game it has changed drastically throughout the years where a number one goalie would play 70 games. It went down to 60 and now you're almost looking at sharing the load because the game is so quick and high paced."

* The other lineup change tonight, and only other lineup change, will be the addition of Andy Andreoff, who will slot into the fourth line on the left side, with Michael Raffl centering and Tyler Pitlick on the right. Andreoff was recalled by the team on Friday morning from the Phantoms with forward Mikhail Vorobyev going back down to Lehigh Valley.

* There's been no slowing down of the "Coots & The Kids" line of Konecny-Couturier-Lindblom. With Couturier riding a five-game point streak (3g-3a), Konecny leads the team in overall scoring and has not gone two games in-a-row the entire season without finding the scoresheet, and Lindblom has five points in his last five games.

KONECNY: "It's been a lot of fun playing with those two guys... They're two bigger bodies that get pucks back and just molds to everybody's game. It just kind of works. Oskar's a pure goal-scorer and Coots is one of those guys that's always in the right spots."

* Tonight also marks another special game for James van Riemsdyk. On Tuesday vs. Carolina it was facing off against his brother, Trevor. Now he will face off against some friends he called teammates for six years wearing a Maple Leafs sweater. JVR spoke after the morning skate:Video: Hear from van Riemsdyk, Konecny and Vigneault

* Scott Laughton traveled with the team to Toronto and although he won't be in the lineup for either game this weekend, he hit the ice with the team for the morning skate in a non-contact capacity. He has missed the last six games with a broken index finger which required surgery on Oct. 30 and has an expected timeline of 3-4 weeks since that date.

van Riemsdyk-Giroux-Farabee



As rare of a instance it was for the Flyers to have a full morning skate, the Maple Leafs also held a full session. Like the Flyers, Toronto had an off day yesterday and are playing the first of a back-to-back. The swing in B-T-B record however are polar opposites from each other. The Leafs have a near perfect record in the first game (3-0-1) and winless record in the second (0-3-1).

* Frederik Andersen will be between the pipes marking a rematch of goaltenders that dueled in an 11-round shootout a week ago. Andersen had the busier night, coming out on top with 37 saves on 40 shots and stopping 10 of 11 skaters in the shootout, which improved his lifetime record to 8-2-2 (3.18 GAA & .908 sv pct.) against the Flyers.

* One player the Flyers will face for the first time is Toronto captain John Tavares, who was injured for the first meeting... He returned to the lineup two games ago and had his biggest impact last game by factoring into both Leafs goals, including the game-winner in overtime to beat Vegas, 2-1, on Thursday night... He also loves playing against the Flyers - Tavares has 19 goals and 36 points in 45 career meetings.

TAVARES: "When you're able to get results and wins some of those tight hockey games, find ways to win when you have to get momentum back when certain things aren't going so well, and when you do good things well and build that identity, you continue to build confidence."

* It seems like Toronto forward Zach Hyman is not quite ready to figure into the lineup tonight despite the pair of roster moves the Leafs made the past two days (Petan & Marincin to the AHL Marlins).



Frederik Andersen

Puck drop is 7 p.m. (NBCSP & 93.3 WMMR).

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