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Lake Tahoe lineup, 'a little rat' type of impact and more as Flyers head outside

/ by Jordan Hall
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With all of the hurdles in the rearview mirror (hopefully), the Flyers (8-3-3) and Bruins (10-3-2) are ready to finally take the ice in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe event.

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

• Head coach Alain Vigneault will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen against Boston.

Defenseman Mark Friedman will enter the lineup for winger David Kase. Friedman is going to play some right winger and some defense. The 25-year-old has studied video with assistant coaches Mike Yeo and Ian Laperriere. He's eager for the opportunity having not played since Jan. 26.

Friedman is a good skater and at his best when he's playing with an edge in the defensive zone.

"It'll be fun, it'll be a new opportunity for me," Friedman said Sunday before the game. "I think the last time I played forward, I was probably 10 years old. See how it goes, I'm just going to keep it real simple if I get the opportunity to play up there. On defense, I'm just going to play my game and have a fun time doing it.

"For me, I've just been grinding through for the past month, it's going to be my fourth game played this year. Just going to keep things real simple and have some fun with it."

Two of his three games this season have come against the Bruins. Friedman's season debut was against Boston and he played only 5:35 minutes. He was forced to exit the game during the second period after he and Brad Marchand got tied up in an awkward play, resulting in the Flyers' defenseman slamming into the ice.

 

In the AHL, Friedman had become strategic and skilled in drawing penalties.

"Just going to play my game and that's me being a little feisty out there, almost like a little rat," Friedman said, "so we'll see if I can get under some guys' skin."

• Sean Couturier is arguably the Flyers' most important skater when the team is at full strength. When the club is without six key players (COVID protocols) against one of the best teams in the NHL, Couturier is absolutely invaluable.

He will have to be huge for the Flyers in all situations against the Bruins. He took 28 faceoffs and played 23:39 minutes in the Flyers' 3-2 shootout loss Thursday to the Rangers. He'll probably be in that range again.

• James van Riemsdyk has played more outdoor games than any other NHL club.

The NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe event will mark the seventh outdoor game of van Riemsdyk's NHL career. No NHL team has played more than six.

The Flyers are 1-2-1 all-time in outdoor games while van Riemsdyk is 3-2-1, having played three with the Flyers and three with the Maple Leafs.

Projected lineup

 

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee

Michael Raffl-Kevin Hayes-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Connor Bunnaman-Nolan Patrick-Maksim Sushko

Samuel Morin-Andy Andreoff-Mark Friedman

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Philippe Myers

Travis Sanheim-Shayne Gostisbehere

Robert Hagg-Erik Gustafsson

Goalies

Carter Hart 

Brian Elliott

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