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Practice Report: Building Blocks

Flyers look to gain momentum as they travel up the turnpike to face rival Devils

by @nhlflyers

Looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Dec. 18-20, the Flyers held a noon practice at the Skate Zone on Friday in preparation for Saturday's matinee in Newark against the New Jersey Devils.

Here are some notes and news from the session:

* Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier were on the ice for practice to skate but did not take part in the line rushes. Jordan Weal took reps with Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek while Jori Lehterä stood in at center with James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny. 

* For Lindblom, despite not be able find the scoresheet on a regular basis, the rookie sees that his opportunities are there. More importantly, however, is being able to get valuable practice time to breakthrough.

LINDBLOM: "Be good in practice. That's all you have to do and try to be confident out there and shoot the puck when you have the opportunity. I'm trying all the time to crash the net, and hopefully something bounces in and once I get the first goal, they keep going in."

* The other two lines the Flyers started on Thursday -- Nolan Patrick centering Scott Laughton and Wayne Simmonds, Phil Varone centering Michael Raffl and Dale Weise -- remained the same.

* Andrew MacDonald participated in his second practice as he rehabilitates a lower-body injury. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz also took part in his first practice, along with Samuel Morin (who has practiced regularly for several weeks).

* Carter Hart will get his second straight start on Saturday in New Jersey. The 20-year-old rookie is coming off a magnificent 37-save performance against the Stars on Thursday.

* The team held a 3-on-3 drill during the latter portion of practice, simulating overtime manpower. 

GORDON"I think whenever we've addressed anything whether it's been after a win or a loss. I think we've gotten an immediate response. I think it's more of a case of being consistent with everything all the time and last night I felt it's been a while since we've had that level of consistency."



* The Devils come into the game having dropped a 4-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, which kicked off a three-game homestand. 

* Reigning NHL MVP, Taylor Hall, is on injured reserve and has missed the last eight games with a lower-body injury. Having not skated with the team at practice on Friday, he is expected to miss Saturday's game. Despite the time missed - he continues to lead the team in scoring.

* Nico Hischier, the No. 1 overall pick from 2017 when Nolan Patrick went No. 2 to the Flyers, is the team's top line center. He ranks third on the team with 29 points (12g-17a) in 39 games. 

* The Devils have had some goaltending injury issues of their own this year and had four practice on Friday: Cory Schneider, MacKenzie Blackwood, Keith Kinkaid and Cameron Johnson.

* Devils head coach John Hynes did not confirm who will start on Saturday. ... Kinkaid has been their No. 1 goaltender this season and has made their last four starts with Johnson backing up due to injuries to Blackwood and Schneider - both lower-body.

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