Joel Farabee, Misha Vorobyev in Flyers lineup; Claude Giroux back at center
Joel Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev, recalled form the Phantoms on Sunday night, will be in the Flyers lineup Monday against high-scoring Vegas.
Right winger Joel Farabee and center Misha Vorobyev, forwards recalled from the Phantoms on Sunday night, will be in the Flyers lineup Monday against high-scoring Vegas.
In addition, Claude Giroux will return to center as new coach Alain Vigneault has again juggled the lines.
Kevin Hayes was dropped to the third line, where he will center Scott Laughton and Farabee, who will make his NHL debut in front of his parents and close to 20,000 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.
Brian Elliott (2.96 GAA, .911 save percentage) will get his second start of the season.
Here is the Flyers lineup for Monday, based on the morning skate:
· Giroux centering James van Riemsdyk and Jake Voracek.
· Sean Couturier centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.
· Hayes centering Laughton and Farabee.
· Vorobyev centering Michael Raffl and Chris Stewart.
· Defense: Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen; Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun; Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg.
· Goalie: Elliott.
GM Chuck Fletcher and Vigneault talked with Phantoms coach Scott Gordon before promoting Farabee and Vorobyev.
Gordon "felt since the beginning of the year that Misha and Joel had been his two best players at both ends of the rink, generating opportunities offensively and playing real well defensively,” Vigneault said after the morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center.
“As you guys know, we’re a work in progress, trying to find the right pieces that will go and make this team win. In Misha’s case, we’ve been looking for that guy to play that fourth-line center spot and give us a little more balance. And Joel has a tremendous amount of skill, and he’s also a tremendous hockey player.”
Vigneault said the Flyers’ “process has been good” and that with the new lines, “hopefully we’ll be able to finish more than we have in the past.”
The Flyers (2-3-1) have dominated teams in shots on goal, but they are averaging just 2.5 goals, tied for 23rd in the 31-team NHL. Vegas is averaging 3.4 goals, ninth in the league.
The Golden Knights (6-3) have had solid special teams, ranking first on the penalty kill and fifth on the power play. The Flyers are 10th on the power play and 24th on the PK.
The Flyers have gotten off to relatively slow starts in games, having been outscored, 7-3, in the first periods. Conversely, Vegas has had a 14-8 first-period domination.
Farabee, 19, had three goals and an assist in four games with the Phantoms, collecting a point in each contest.
“He finished a little bit there that he wasn’t able to do” in the preseason with the Flyers, Vigneault said. “The fact he got some games under his belt there and was able to find the back of the net, he’s bringing that here. This is his first official NHL game. I want him to go out, have fun, and remember it. Hopefully, he’ll play well for us.”
Vigneault said that some players mope when they are demoted to the AHL, but that Farabee had the right mindset.
Farabee said he was surprised to get the call-up after only four AHL games, “but I was really happy when it happened.”
He said the four games helped him get more comfortable with his stickhandling in tight. “I’m not afraid to try certain plays now,” he said. "I got a lot more confidence. Going down there definitely helped a lot, and I’m sure it’ll help me tonight.”
As for putting Giroux back in the middle, Vigneault said that he wanted another right-handed center and that it gives the Flyers more depth at that position.
“I just think this gives us more balance,” he said, adding he wasn’t concerned about defensive deficiencies that line could have.
Carsen Twarynski was demoted to the Phantoms on Sunday, and Vigneault said the 21-year-old winger has “a lot of upside. He’s got a bite to his game. He can be real good on the forecheck. At some point, he’s got a chance to play in this league.” … Vegas’ Ryan Reeves leads the NHL with 47 hits. He is probably the reason the bruising Stewart is playing tonight and Tyler Pitlick is a healthy scratch. … Giroux (69.3%) and Couturier (67.8%) are Nos. 1-2 in the NHL in faceoff percentage; the Flyers are the league’s top faceoff team, clicking at 56.7%. … The Flyers are in the midst of six straight games against Western Conference opponents.