Flyers

Fans are back in Pittsburgh just as Flyers get 'huge part' of their energy back

Flyers

Just in time, as they head into their Pittsburgh week, the Flyers are back at full strength with the return of their energizer bunny.

Travis Konecny will jump into the lineup Tuesday when the Flyers (11-4-3) play Game 1 off a three-game set against the Penguins (11-8-1).

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: PPG Paints Arena
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Konecny, who provides a spirit to the Flyers on and off the ice, will play his first game since Feb. 7. Konecny was on the NHL's COVID protocol list for 14 days and has been the latest Flyer to come off the list.

When the Flyers returned from their seven-day COVID-19 shutdown, they were without six regulars for their first two games back Feb. 18 and Feb. 21. The Flyers are now back to full strength after experiencing multiple cases of COVID-19 within the team, which forced their NHL-mandated lockdown from Feb. 9-15.

Konecny was the club's 2020 All-Star as he led the Flyers in goals (24) and points (61).

"We're excited to get him back," James van Riemsdyk said Tuesday after morning skate. "He's a huge part of our team, not only on the ice but in the locker room, bringing a lot of energy and stuff like that."

The Flyers and Penguins are meeting for the first time since their season-opening two-game set in Philadelphia. The Flyers took both of the games and Konecny had five points (three goals, two assists).

 

Konecny will take Nicolas Aube-Kubel's right wing spot on the fourth line for now.

"Ku had been playing well," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said, "but T.K. is one of our top players and he's giving me the thumbs up that he's ready to go."

• The Penguins will be missing Sidney Crosby, who is out because of the NHL's COVID protocol.

• Before the Flyers welcome their fans back on Sunday against the Capitals, they'll get a feel for spectators returning to the building during this three-game series in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins will have fans back starting Tuesday night at a 15 percent capacity (2,800 fans).

"You miss that energy that the crowd always brings into the game, whether it's home or away," van Riemsdyk said. "That's going to be fun tonight to get the chance to play with a little bit of atmosphere in the building. I know people are excited to come back to watch some hockey and we're excited to play in front of a crowd, so it should be fun."

The Wells Fargo Center can permit approximately 3,100 fans starting Sunday.

"I think everybody has been waiting for this moment for quite some time here," Vigneault said. "Even though we're on the road, having fans, feeding off that energy is always a positive thing. I think they're starting with a smaller percentage, but it's good to have them back — I think everybody appreciates it."

Projected lineup

 

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Nolan Patrick

Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Travis Konecny

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere

Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun

Robert Hagg-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

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