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Three crucial storylines to watch as Flyers battle Rangers

by Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers

The Flyers have another busy slate of games ahead over the final week of training camp. It all starts with a home-and-home set with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday and the Wells Fargo Center the following night. Here are three things to watch over the next two games:

1. Giroux left wing experiment at MSG -  In each of the last two days at practice, the Flyers have once again featured team captain Claude Giroux at left wing on a line with Sean Couturier in the middle and Jakub Voracek on right wing. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol indicated that, for the first time, the Flyers would have Giroux on left wing in a game situation for Monday's game in New York.

"It'll be fun, but I don't know what to expect," Giroux said. "Obviously, that's something we're looking at [trying] a little bit this year. The game is pretty much the same wherever you are. Offensively, you are kind of all over the place. But it's just practice right now. After we do it in a game, I'll be better able to answer those question [about comfort level on the wing]."

For Couturier, Hakstol does not want to see the player alter his typical two-way approach when he is playing with the highly skilled Giroux and Voracek.

"Coots just needs to play his game, and do the things he brings to this hockey team," Hakstol said.

2. Two different lineup looks -  Hakstol said that Monday's and Tuesday's lineups will have some different looks to one another, and neither game would not be identical to the practice combinations the Flyers featured on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, there was only one change from the previous day, with Travis Konecny and Dale Weise swapping lines. Sunday's lines were as follows:

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Weal - Patrick - Simmonds
Lehterä - Filppula - Weise
Raffl - Laughton - Read
Lindblom/Leier - Vecchione - Konecny

Provorov - Hägg
Morin - MacDonald
Manning - Gostisbehere
Sanheim - Gudas

Elliott & Neuvirth

3. Roster spot battles -  The time in camp is rapidly approaching in which players battling against the numbers game to earn opening roster spots much make their strongest case to avoid being in the next round of roster cuts. 

"Everyone still here is in the mix [to make the team]. This is where the competition gets pretty high," Hakstol said.

The margin for error gets narrower with each passing day for the players on the bubble of starting the season with Philadelphia. Some of the remaining roster candidates are waiver exempt if the Flyers assign them to the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, while others must first pass through waivers before they can be sent to the Phantoms.

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