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OTF: Lines Shuffled; Leier loaned to Phantoms

Different look to morning skate as Flyers prepare for Coyotes

by @NHLFlyers /

OCT. 27

1:30 p.m.


Tonight's game will have a little bit of a different look for the Flyers. Other than the special event celebrating the Flyers Heritage by bringing back 14 members of the club's Hall of Fame, that is.

The top line with Claude Giroux will now see Jakub Voracek and rookie Travis Konecny on the wings, according to line rushes at the morning skate.

"We did that in the third period the other night - they played together," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "I liked that group and I like Couturier with Simmonds and Read as well. I though on both counts, both groups did a pretty good job, but in that case we needed a spark so that's why we're trying something a little bit different and new. There' was a lot of good things to it with both combinations."

Voracek and Giroux are atop the club's leaderboard with eight points each, while Konecny isn't too far behind with six points, which included his first NHL goal last game.

"He's an explosive player and he creates plays," said Giroux of Konecny's play. "He competes, that's one thing that I like about him. He competes and he's hard on himself. I like watching him play, so playing with him is pretty fun."

"It's exciting, but I'm treating it like I've been playing with good players the whole time so it's another opportunity to play with somebody new tonight," said Konecny on the opportunity.

"I think that's the first thing I thought of this morning when I saw that I was on the line was 'exactly don't to do that' - don't overthink it, don't change what you're doing. Obviously I was put there because of the way I've been playing with my speed and things like that. It's not to fill a skill role, it's just to play hard and I'm not going to change anything in my game. I'm just going to try and help them and create space for them to make their moves."

Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read also switch lines. Simmonds will be on with Read and Couturier, while Schenn moves to a line with Nick Cousins back at center and Dale Weise returning from his three-game suspension.

"We're just trying to find the right fit," added Hakstol. "Matt Read went into a different spot a couple nights ago and it was a good fit for him and similarly for Brayden Schenn. It's just about finding four good combinations and that's what we're trying to work to do."

Taylor Leier, who was recalled from the Phantoms on Tuesday, was loaned back to Lehigh Valley. He participated in warmups with the team, but did not play vs. Sabres.

Michael Raffl also took part in portions of the morning skate. It was his second time on the ice but first handling pucks with the team since going down with an upper body injury on Oct. 18 at Chicago.

"I don't know. It feels pretty good and it should be soon, I think. I have to see the doctors," said Raffl on if he had a timeline on when he would be able to return to the lineup.

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