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Flyers to be without six regulars in NHL Lake Tahoe game against Bruins

Giroux, Voracek, Lindblom among those in COVID-19 protocol, won't play Sunday

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers will be without six lineup regulars because of NHL COVID-19 protocol when they play the Boston Bruins in the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS).

Defenseman Justin Braun and forwards Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek have been on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list since at least Feb. 9 and will not travel to Nevada. 

"No one on that list is coming," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday.

Vigneault said Friday that he's stayed in near daily contact with the players on the COVID-19 list.

"I have talked to them on a regular basis," he said. "Not to say daily there, but every other day, and exchanged quite a few texts. Jake had no symptoms so he's champing at the bits here. He understands the situation. It's not easy to spend 14 days at home. It's a challenge. ... That's what those guys have been asked to do and they're doing the best they can. They're Face-timing with their teammates, with their families, with their friends. Once they're cleared to come back hopefully it won't take them too long to get back in stride and in rhythm and they'll be able to help us."

The Flyers lost to the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout Thursday, their first game since a 7-4 win at the Washington Capitals on Feb. 7. Two days later, their game at the Capitals was postponed. Philadelphia also had a game against the Rangers scheduled for Sunday postponed, in addition to two games against the New Jersey Devils (Feb. 11 and Feb. 13) which previously had been postponed.

Philadelphia practiced with 16 players on Tuesday and 24 players Wednesday, including players from the taxi squad. Their lineup against the Rangers included three forwards making their season debut: Maksim Sushko , David Kase and Andy Andreoff. Sushko made his NHL debut.

"For the new guys coming in, we've got quite a few guys that it's going to be their first game this year, their second game," Vigneault said before the game Thursday. "So keep things high percentage, stay energized, trust your instincts and go out there and at the end of the day, let's go and play hard and have fun."

Goalie Carter Hart will start for the Flyers. It will be his first NHL outdoor game; he was out with a lower-body injury when the Flyers played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2019 NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Boston lost to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday, and forward David Krejci left the game win a lower-body injury. The Bruins do not have any players on the COVID-19 protocol list.

The time of the game Sunday was changed to 2 p.m. ET.

"We're basically going to try and keep our bodies in the same time zone, which 11 o'clock that time will be 2 p.m. for us if we manage to do it, and we should be able to do it, no issues," Vigneault said. "We're flying in tomorrow after practice. We've got an 8 a.m. practice the next day, which is really 11 o'clock body times for us. And what we're going to do is do two meetings the night before, before the game, and we'll have a quick one in the morning before we go off for warmup. And then we should be good to go."

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