The Flyers will not face Sidney Crosby on Tuesday night as the Penguins' star center is unavailable because of COVID protocol, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters this morning. Pittsburgh had its morning skate canceled because of the league's protocol.
There are a number of contributing factors for why a player can be placed on the COVID protocol list. A player being out because of COVID protocol does not necessarily mean the player tested positive for the coronavirus.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion Crosby owns 107 points (45 goals, 62 assists) in 72 career regular-season games against the Flyers. The 45 goals are his most against any NHL opponent.
Tonight at PPG Paints Arena, the Flyers and Penguins are scheduled to begin a three-game set in Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). The two clubs play Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Saturday (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP), as well.
After a 14-day stint on the NHL's COVID protocol list, Travis Konecny will return to the lineup for the Flyers. Nicolas Aube-Kubel comes out of the lineup.
Konecny was removed from the COVID protocol list Sunday. He missed the Flyers' last five games and will play for the first time since Feb. 7.
"He skated Sunday and Monday with Danny Briere," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday. "He said the second day he felt better. He just skated with us pregame skate, talked to him briefly after and he wants to play. He's the only player [out of the group to return from COVID protocol] that wasn't able to get a real, full practice, but he says he feels good.
"Hopefully he plays well like all the other guys who came back from COVID."
The Flyers did not have any players on the COVID protocol list Monday night. 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 their team, which forced their NHL-mandated lockdown from Feb. 9-15.
Here's how the club will look at forward Tuesday night:
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
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