Jake Voracek moved to Sean Couturier’s line; Scott Laughton returning Saturday for Flyers
Trying to get Jake Voracek going, the right winger was moved to Sean Couturier's line Thursday in Carolina.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- In an attempt to get Jake Voracek to produce, coach Alain Vigneault moved the right winger to a line centered by Sean Couturier on Thursday against Carolina.
“Trying to get Jake going, and everyone who has played with Coots has usually found a good level of success,” Vigneault said before the game. “We’re hoping it might jump-start Jake a little bit. We obviously need him playing well.”
Oskar Lindblom was the left winger on the line.
Voracek, who entered the night without a goal in his last 11 games, was aiming for the 200th tally of his career.
Vigneault scrambled three of his four lines. He said he would eventually like to have continuity in his lines, but he is still searching for the right combinations.
The only line that stayed intact: Morgan Frost, who scored a goal in his NHL debut Tuesday in Florida, centering Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny.
The other two lines: Kevin Hayes centering Joel Farabee and Tyler Pitlick, and Michael Raffl centering James van Riemsdyk and a player of Vigneault’s choosing.
Vigneault used seven defensemen so the forwards could get more playing time, an attempt to get several of them out of slumps.
Defenseman Robert Hagg went into the lineup, and winger Andy Andreoff was a healthy scratch.
Center Scott Laughton will return to the lineup Saturday afternoon when the Flyers host Calgary, Vigneault said.
Laughton, who was cleared by a doctor Thursday morning in Philadelphia, has missed 13 games with a broken right index finger, which was surgically repaired. He skated Thursday and he will practice with the team Friday in Voorhees.
In nine games this season, Laughton has three assists and has been a key contributor on the penalty kill. Laughton was injured in a 7-4 win over Columbus on Oct. 26.
When Laughton (and his $2.3 million cap hit) returns, the Flyers will have to make some roster decisions to shave a little more than $1.4 million of cap space. They might put Nolan Patrick on the long-term injured reserve list and send Andreoff back down to the Phantoms, assuming Frost stays with the Flyers.
Couturier, 26, played in his 600th game Thursday, becoming the youngest player in Flyers history to reach that total with the team.