The Philadelphia Flyers are set to return home for a five-game home stand to try and continue their three-game winning streak. They’ll be joined by a familiar face as Radko Gudas is finally eligible to return the lineup following the conclusion of his 10-game suspension. However, with Brandon Manning out of the lineup for a few weeks, Travis Sanheim will get an even longer look in this lineup. There are no serious questions as to whether Sanheim will be a healthy scratch because of Manning’s injury.
Here’s what the defense pairings looked like on Tuesday morning during the team’s closed practice at the Wells Fargo Center.
Healthy Scratch: Mark Alt
Injured: Brandon Manning
Good news for Sanheim with Gudas’ return is that Dave Hakstol will likely be able to give that pairing a little more usage, given Hakstol’s use of Gudas in the past. Sanheim was sheltered with Gudas out of the lineup. He was passed over in favor of Brandon Manning and Mark Alt, in regards to ice time. But having Gudas back gives Dave Haktol the ability to let Sanheim do his thing offensively while having a more experienced defender next to him in Gudas.
Andrew MacDonald and Ivan Provorov were reunited for the road trip and they got back to the basics. MacDonald has played well enough in his return from injury to be serviceable on this team. Provorov is an absolute machine right now and is carrying the load on the backend with 27-plus minutes a night. Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg will look to turn it up a bit at home.
The Flyers are looking for their first home win in a little over a month. If they’re going to do that, they’re going to need the defense to be solid in front of Brian Elliott, limiting high-quality chances and second-chance opportunities. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.
Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
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