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Lines starting to take form at Flyers camp

News & Notes to come out of Flyers practice on Saturday

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers

With five preseason games in the books, the focus now shifts to Week 2 of training camp with three games remaining, including two at the Wells Fargo Center. Another round of cuts have been made and the roster is down to 35 players, meaning only one group is taking the ice.

Below are some notes to come out of Flyers practice on Saturday, which lasted close to 90 minutes...

* The Flyers started practice on Saturday with three lines that could possibly be together come opening night. 

For the first time in camp, right wing Travis Konency was reunited with frequent 2017-18 linemates Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. The second line consisted of Nolan Patrick centering James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek; a trio that has practiced together as a unit several times during camp. 

HAKSTOL: "There's so much competition in certain areas. Today some of what you saw, no question has a chance and I want to give a couple of things a few days and a game together at least to see where we're at. Maybe we need more with certain combinations. Maybe we don't - that's why we have to go day by day, but we're getting closer."

On the third line, rookie hopeful Mikhail Vorobyev continued to be rewarded for his strong play in camp by practicing among the top-nine group of forwards. He centered Oskar Lindblom and Wayne Simmonds.

* A much-welcomed sight at practice on Saturday: Shayne Gostisbehere was on the ice throughout and seemed fine. He was taken out of Friday night's game at the PPL Center in Allentown for precautionary reasons.

* Simmonds is still on target on his post-surgery recovery plan. Although the alternate captain admitted that he is looking forward to playing and not just practicing, the process can't be rushed. His focus is on the day-to-day program that he's on and is following the prescribed steps.

SIMMONDS: "Yeah, but if I'm not 100 percent that's not the way it's going to go... We're on a plan, we're sticking to the plan and I'm not going to rush it."

* Brian Elliott, who is always on a ramp-up timetable for his return from off-season surgery, has played one period of hockey in the preseason to date. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said after practice that getting Elliott more game action is part of the plan over the final three games of the preseason but he has not decided yet which games Elliott will start. 

Video: Injury updates from Simmonds & MacDonald

* Veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald acknowledged that he is ahead of schedule on his recovery timetable from a late offseason lower-body injury. He is practicing as a full participant daily, and is primarily working toward medical clearance to play. Although there is not a specific date targeted yet for clearance, both he and the Flyers are hopeful of it being sooner rather than later.

* Hakstol said that defenseman Robert Hägg is rapidly get back "up to speed" in his game after struggling earlier in camp. The coach said that areas such as managing gaps and being a little cleaner with the puck are areas in which he wants to see Hägg continue to evolve in his all-around game. 

According to Hakstol, part of the reason why the Swede has been one of the most frequently used players in the preseason lineups to date has been to provide him with opportunities to continue expanding what he does well. The coach noted that Hägg physical game, which is his bread-and-butter strength, has been fine since day one.

* The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed winger Danick Martel off waivers from the Flyers on Saturday. Under NHL rules, the Lightning are now obligated to keep Martel on their NHL roster to open the season. He must spend 30 days or appear in 10 NHL games -- whichever comes sooner -- before he is eligible to be re-waived and assigned to the AHL if he clears. The clock starts ticking on Oct 3.

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