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Voracek at home in Prague for Global Series with Flyers

Forward is team tour guide but 'here to get two points' against Blackhawks

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PRAGUE -- Jakub Voracek will be very busy the next few days.

The forward, who grew up 20 miles west of Prague in Kladno, returned home Tuesday with the Philadelphia Flyers for their season-opening Global Series game against the Chicago Blackhawks at O2 Arena on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, NBCSP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).

As the resident tour guide for the Flyers, Voracek also organized a team dinner and will be going with a group of teammates to see Sparta Praha play a Champions League soccer match against Borussia Dortmund of Germany on Tuesday.

 

[RELATED: Global Series postcard: Prague]

 

"Obviously we're here for business on Friday, but it doesn't happen very often when I get to go home in October, so that's pretty exciting," he said.

Voracek's popularity here was on display as soon as the Flyers arrived in the Czech Republic.

"Coming off the plane, people were grabbing pictures with him," forward Michael Raffl said. "It's going to be a zoo out there for that guy."

The Flyers expect a raucous crowd against the Blackhawks, similar to what they had during their 4-3 loss to Lausanne at Vaudoise Arena in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday. A sold-out crowd of 9,600 was chanting and screaming for most of the game.

"It was definitely a different experience, playing in a game like that," defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. "We're all pretty excited to get it going and have some fun."

Video: NYR@PHI: Voracek blasts one-timer home for PPG

As much as the Flyers are focused on trying to win their season opener, quality time for the players to get to know several new teammates away from the rink has been just as important during their time in Europe. The Flyers acquired forward Kevin Hayes and defensemen Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun in June; rookie forwards Joel Farabee, Carsen Twarynski and Connor Bunnaman traveled to Europe to continue pushing for roster spots; and forward Chris Stewart, who was in training camp on a professional tryout contract, made the trip. There's also new coach Alain Vigneault, who was hired April 15.

"We have a ton of new faces, whether that be on the coaching staff, players, that sort of thing," forward James van Riemsdyk said. "No better way to kind of get all on the same page and get some of that chemistry built than by spending a ton of time together on a long road trip like this."

The trip has had a home-game feel for Voracek. He said he'll spend as much time as he can with family and friends the next few days, but his focus is centered on helping the Flyers start the season with a win.

"We're here to get two points," he said. "We want to have a good start (to the season). Hasn't happened very often the last few years. I just want to make sure we dig in and make sure the Czech fans see good hockey."

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