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For Flyers, Tough Road Trip Ahead; 3 Roster Moves Made; Risto on IR

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Left winger Scott Laughton and the Flyers embark on a difficult three-game trip that starts Tuesday in Tampa.

Is the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2-0 start a mirage? A product of playing two weak opponents?

We shall see.

The Flyers will try to show they can be relevant this season when they begin a difficult three-game trip Tuesday against Tampa Bay. They also play high-scoring Florida on Wednesday, and talented Nashville on Saturday.

“I think it’s big,” left winger Scott Laughton said after practice Monday in Voorhees. “Three really, really tough teams here on this road trip, and then we come back and play (Sunday vs. San Jose), so we have two sets of back-to-backs here.

“We have to be ready to go, and it’s going to be a really good test for us to play these guys,” he added. “A couple top teams in the league from previous years.”

Goal: Keep growing

Laughton said the goal is to “continue to build and grow our game.”

The Philadelphia Flyers had comeback victories over New Jersey, 5-2, and Vancouver, 3-2, to start the season.

In the first two wins, Laughton said, he liked the way “we really haven’t strayed away from our game plan. We haven’t had too many lapses in our game, especially our last game. I thought throughout the 60 minutes, we played pretty similar and didn’t let anything faze us. If we continue to play like that, yeah you might lose some games, but you’re going to be in them from the start.”

Tampa (1-2) is playing its home opener after starting the season with three road games —  losses to the Rangers and Penguins, sandwiched around a win over Columbus.

Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning in goals (4) and points (5).

“We’re trying to continue to play well and build our game as a team and as individuals — forward lines, D pairings and all that,” said defenseman Ivan Provorov, who has developed quick chemistry with his new partner, Tony DeAngelo. “I think even when we weren’t playing our best hockey the past few years, we found a way to play our best game against the better teams.”

Roster moves

The Flyers recalled right winger Zack MacEwen and defenseman Louie Belpedio from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and they placed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (lower-body injury) on IR.

Ristolainen will make the road trip, per coach John Tortorella.

MacEwen, 26, played in 75 games with the Flyers last season and was in more fights than any player on the team. He was off to a great start this season at Lehigh Valley, collecting three points (goal, two assists) over three games and a plus-2 rating.

Belpedio, 26, has ties to Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, who drafted him in the third round for Minnesota in 2014. The righthanded-shooting defenseman had a goal in two games with the Phantoms this season, and he has played in four NHL games (two assists) for Minnesota.

No captain

Tortorella said he doesn’t plan to name a captain this season. Currently, Laughton is the lone player wearing an “A” as an alternate.

Breakaways

The Flyers are 2 for 8 on the power play and have killed seven of eight penalties. … Cam Atkinson again missed practice and will not travel on the road trip. … Tortorella is still deciding if Carter Hart (2.00 GAA, .940 save percentage) will play Tuesday and Wednesday. If not, Felix Sandstrom would probably get the nod Wednesday against the Panthers. … Olle Lycksell or MacEwen will be the fourth-line right winger Tuesday. Tortorella said he was kicking it around. … Former Flyer Phil Myers has played on the third pairing for Tampa, which also has ex-Flyer Brian Elliott and ex-Philly farmhand Pat Maroon on its roster.

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