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Captain Claude Giroux returns for shorthanded Flyers; Rasmus Ristolainen added to COVID list



Claude Giroux (AP Photo)

Good news: Captain Claude Giroux left the COVID protocol and joined the Philadelphia Flyers at practice Tuesday in Voorhees.

Bad news: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was added to the COVID list, which includes two other defenders: Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun.

It’s been that type of season for the Flyers — one step forward, one step back.

At least Giroux gives them a player who can help in all situations. Despite missing three games, he leads the Flyers with 29 points.

While Giroux came off the COVID list, right winger Travis Konecny and Provorov remained on it. Both are eligible to come off after a negative test. Braun is on the list for a second day.

Interim coach Mike Yeo said he was “hopeful” Provorov and Konecny would come off the list and practice Wednesday.

The Flyers’ game Tuesday against visiting Carolina was postponed; they are scheduled to play Thursday in Boston, where they will try to end a five-game losing streak.

Despite the postponement, the Flyers practiced Tuesday and will do so Wednesday.

“We have’t really had a chance to have two practices in a row here,” Yeo said, looking at the bright side after Tuesday’s session. “… This is kind of the first time where we’ve had a couple days between (games), where we can focus on some of the tweaks we want to make.”

The emphasis Tuesday was on the team’s checking game and exiting the defensive zone.

“We defend way too much, and the focus today was on how we can get the puck back, how we can check as a five-man unit, whether it’s in the offensive zone or through the neutral zone,” Yeo said.

If Tuesday’s game was played, the Flyers would have had a makeshift defense that included Sanheim, Keith Yandle, rookies Cam York and Egor Zamula, and journeymen Nick Seeler and Kevin Connauton.

New lineup

At practice, Giroux centered the top line and had Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson as his wingers.

The rest of the practice lineup:

Line 2: Kevin Hayes centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.

Line 3: Scott Laughton centering Max Willman and Oskar Lindblom.

Line 4: Connor Bunnman centering Jackson Cates and Zack MacEwen.

Defense: Sanheim and Zamula; York and Seeler; Yandle and Connauton.


Center Patrick Brown, who has a goal and four points in 20 games, will miss about four weeks with an MCL sprain. … Center Morgan Frost was an extra at practice. … The Flyers were much healthier when they split two games with Boston earlier this season, winning, 6-3, and losing, 5-2. Martin Jones was the goalie in both games. … Sanheim, who came off the COVID list Monday, said it was a “blessing for a few guys that we get a few extra days to recover.” … Giroux said he ate meals down his basement and that it was “tough not seeing the kids” while he was on COVID quarantine.



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