After the Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-1 loss in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, something had to change. Dave Hakstol had kept the same lines throughout the first three games of the series, even after the 7-0 loss in Game 1. But after a second blowout, Hakstol has switched up the forward lines.
In practice today, the Flyers looked a bit different down the wings. On the right wing, Jake Voracek replaced Michael Raffl on the top line, Raffl replaced Wayne Simmonds on the third line, and Simmonds moved up to the second line to replace Voracek.
It’s surprising to see Travis Konecny not move to the first line instead of Voracek, especially with the chemistry he, Giroux, and Couturier had throughout the second half of the season, but the Flyers are hoping that having Voracek up top will reignite the spark that was there early in the season.
Down the left wing, the only moves that were made were Konecny replacing the now scratched Oskar Lindblom on the second line and Jordan Weal replacing Konecny’s spot on the third line.
Here’s how the lines looked in practice today.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jake Voracek
Travis Konecny – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds
Jordan Weal – Valtteri Filppula – Michael Raffl
Scott Laughton – Jori Lehtera – Matt Read
Healthy Scratch: Taylor Leier, Oskar Lindblom, Dale Weise
Something to keep an eye on – Nolan Patrick centered the Flyers’ top line at the end of practice after Sean Couturier limped off the ice following a collision with Radko Gudas. Couturier went to the locker room and we will know more info as the story develops. If Couturier cannot go, one of Lindblom, Leier, or Weise will play on Wednesday in a pivotal Game 4.
The defensive pairings look like they will stay the same, and Brian Elliott remained in the starter’s net in practice. Flyers and Penguins square off on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
(Photo by Heather Barry / Sons of Penn)