They aren’t as famous as combinations like Orr-Esposito, Gretzky-Kurri, and Hull-Mikita from yesteryear, or McDavid-Draisaitl, Marner-Matthews, and Ovechkin-Backstrom in the current NHL.
That said, Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek have been a very good duo for the Flyers over the last decade.
That’s why it seemed so strange to see neither of them in the lineup Thursday against the New York Rangers. Both are on the NHL’s COVID protocol list and unable to play.
Thursday marked the first time in just under 12 years that the Flyers played a game with neither Giroux nor Voracek in the lineup. The last time that happened was March 1, 2009, at New Jersey, when the Flyers’ lineup included players such as Mike Knuble, Ryan Parent, Mike Richards, Arron Asham, Scottie Upshall, and Marty Biron in a 3-0 loss to the Devils. Scott Hartnell and Joffrey Lupul led the Flyers with four shots apiece but couldn’t solve Martin Brodeur, who collected his 100th career shutout.
Yeah, it had been a while.
Since that date in 2009, either Giroux or Voracek had appeared in the last 889 games for the Flyers before Thursday.
Voracek, who needs three assists to get to 500 in his career, joined the Flyers in 2011.
Giroux had his streak of playing 328 consecutive games end. On Thursday, Ivan Provorov played in his 329th straight game, second on the Flyers’ all-time list. Rod Brind’Amour is No. 1, having played in 484 consecutive games before missing a 1999 contest with a broken foot.
Shorthanded at Lake Tahoe
As expected, the Flyers will also be shorthanded when they face the Boston Bruins in a made-for-TV outdoor game Sunday afternoon at Lake Tahoe.
Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that the six regulars on the COVID-19 protocol list — Giroux, Voracek, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Justin Braun, and Travis Konecny — would not be traveling to Nevada when the team leaves Friday.
After kicking around the idea of dressing an extra defenseman or two, Vigneault went with the usual 12-forward, six-defensemen setup Thursday against the Rangers. …. Defenseman Travis Sanheim played in his first game since Feb. 5; he went on the COVID protocol list two days later before being removed Feb. 14, and never had the coronavirus. He was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere on Thursday. “I’d like to think we can feed off each other,” Sanheim said before the game. The other pairings: Ivan Provorov and Phil Myers, and Robert Hagg and Erik Gustafsson. ... Entering the night, James van Riemsdyk needed one point to reach the 500-mark in his career. ... The Flyers assigned winger Matthew Strome to their taxi squad; he had been playing with Phantoms.