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Raffl to return vs. Pittsburgh and more as the Flyers return to practice

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

One day ahead of completing a bye week-bisected home-and-home set with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers reconvened at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. 

The Following are some notes and news from the session:

* Michael Raffl returned to practice, rejoining Sean Couturier's line, and will be in the lineup on Friday in Pittsburgh. Raffl took a big hit behind the Flyers net from Dustin Brown in the third period of the Jan. 18 game against Los Angeles and missed the final game before the All-Star break and bye week. He is now back to feeling 100 percent.

RAFFL: "Looking back, it was a good thing that the medical [staff] took me out of that game. I had headaches for a few days. I'm fine now. The break was a good thing for a lot of us."

* With Raffl reinstated on the Couturier line, Joel Farabee is back with Connor Bunnaman and Tyler Pitlick on the fourth line at 5-on-5. Farabee also continued to see reps with the second power play unit. Additionally, Travis Sanheim remained on PP2 in place of Shayne Gostisbehere. 

* Gostisbehere skated for the third time since injuring his knee late in the third period of the Jan. 8 game against Washington and undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the 14th. He needs a little more time to be ready to play, but will accompany the team to Pittsburgh.

GOSTISBEHERE: "It's mostly about getting my wind back. The wind is still a little bit tough. But it was the same for a lot of guys [coming off the bye week], so it made me feel better out there."

* Brian Elliott will get the start in goal in Pittsburgh on Friday. Head coach Alain Vigneault said that Alex Lyon would start at home on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.

* Carter Hart skated on his own before practice, according to Vigneault. After the upcoming 3-in-4 set, he will return to practice. The hope is that Hart will be ready to play in about a week. 

LINE PLAY (Practice)

JVR - Giroux - Konecny
Raffl - Couturier - Voracek
Laughton - Hayes - Aube-Kubel
Farabee - Bunnaman - Pitlick

Provorov - Niskanen
Sanheim - Myers
Hägg - Braun
Gostisbehere (will not play on Friday)


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