The Flyers (15-12-4) on Thursday night face the Rangers (14-13-4) for the first time since the 9-0 embarrassment Alain Vigneault's club suffered at Madison Square Garden a week ago.
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
- When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Wells Fargo Center
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• In the offseason, the Flyers approached Samuel Morin with the idea of shifting the 6-foot-6 defenseman to left winger. Part of the reason was because the Flyers' defensive picture looked crowded in the present and future. Having Morin at forward presented him possibly a quicker path to playing time after injuries had knocked him down the depth chart.
Now, the Flyers' defensive group is far from sacrosanct. And now, Morin is getting another shot on the blue line at the NHL ranks. Things sure can change fast at this level. Morin knows that well, having suffered a pair of torn ACLs in a span of 19 months. Despite transitioning to the wing, the 25-year-old has been playing on defense lately at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley because the Phantoms have needed depth on the blue line.
The Flyers, meanwhile, have struggled mightily to prevent goals and haven't found any consistency on the back end.
"Sam with us, when he was here at the beginning, he was a forward," Vigneault said before Thursday's morning skate. "Because of the situation in the minors, he was playing on D. Being versatile is a bonus — for any player. Being able to play more than one position is a bonus. Sam was working on his forward skills, but he's been a defenseman all of his life. That's why it's easy for him to go back to that position and play. He's been playing lately, he's been practicing, so he's obviously an option for us at both positions."
Morin is set to play alongside Shayne Gostisbehere on the Flyers' third defensive pair.
• The Flyers have lost three straight games and are 4-8-1 in March. The worst loss of the month came a week ago when the club was blown out, 9-0, by the Rangers.
General manager Chuck Fletcher discussed the state of the team on Wednesday. The Flyers still believe in their group and there was a ton of positivity at morning skate, which finished with teammates celebrating Oskar Lindblom.
The Flyers are two points ahead of the Rangers and two points back of the fourth-place Bruins, who play tonight for the first time in a week after having a halt because of the NHL's COVID protocols.
"We're right there, we're still in this," Kevin Hayes said. "We believe in our team, we believe in our staff and we believe in this organization. Obviously there's some added stuff there when you get absolutely smoked like that, but you can't think too much about that because we need to dial in our game plan and stick to the process. It's two big points, they're right behind us and we need to get on a roll here."
James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Samuel Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere
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