For the first time in a while, the Philadelphia Flyers will have a respectable lineup Thursday night when they face the Bruins in Boston.
Ivan Provorov, Justin Braun, and Travis Konecny came off the COVID-19 protocol list Wednesday and practiced with the team in Voorhees. That left defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen as the only Flyer remaining on the COVID list.
“It’s great to have them back,” interim coach Mike Yeo said. “They’re not just important players in 5-on-5 aspects, but on special teams.”
Provorov, who blasted the COVID protocol that caused him to miss his first games ever and said it was only like the flu, was put on the first pairing alongside Travis Sanheim; they have been partners in the past, “and I think it worked well,” Provorov said.
The Flyers (13-15-7) will try to end a five-game losing streak in Boston (19-11-2); they are seven points behind the Bruins, who hold the East’s final wild-card spot. The surging B’s have three games in hand on Philly before Wednesday’s action.
Boston has won five of its last six games heading into Wednesday’s game against visiting Montreal, averaging 5.2 goals in each of those victories.
Brad Marchand has been the B’s hottest player, collecting five goals and seven points over his last five games. He leads the Bruins with 16 goals and 36 points. David Pastrnak (13) and Patrice Bergeron (11) are also in double figures in goals.
Cam Atkinson (14), Claude Giroux (11) and Joel Farabee (10) are the Flyers’ top goal scorers. Konecny, who is in an 18-game goal funk, will try to get his 100th career goal Thursday. He has seven assists in his last nine games.
At practice, here’s how the Flyers looked Wednesday:
Line 1: Giroux centering Farabee and Atkinson.
Line 2: Kevin Hayes centering James van Riemsdyk and Konecny,
Turned 34 today. Has not slowed down a bit. https://t.co/7dS2Z1Zulj
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) January 12, 2022
Line 3: Scott Laughton centering Jackson Cates and Oskar Lindblom.
Line 4: Morgan Frost centering Max Willman and Zack MacEwen.
Defense: Provorov and Sanheim; Cam York and Braun; Keith Yandle and Nick Seeler; Egor Zamula and Kevin Connauton.
Goaltenders: Carter Hart, Martin Jones, Kirill Ustimenko.
Hart will get the call Thursday in Boston. … Konecny’s last goal was Nov. 18 against Tampa Bay. … York will remain on the top power-play unit. Provorov and Yandle are on PP2. … Yeo believes the veteran Braun will be a steadying influence for York, who is a rookie. …. Atkinson leads the Flyers with a plus-9 rating, while Yandle is at the other end (minus-21).