WASHINGTON – Center Morgan Frost learned a lesson from his first stint with the Flyers, saying he needs to move his feet more and be more engaged on the ice.
“When I’m doing that, I’m getting more chances to touch the puck which is what I want to have," he said before facing the host Washington Capitals on Saturday night in his second stint with the Flyers.
Frost, 20, had goals in each of his first two games with the Flyers, then went goal-less in his next 16 games and was sent back to the AHL’s Phantoms. Saturday will be his first appearance against superstar Alex Ovechkin and the Caps.
“Growing up, and to my generation, Ovi has always been one of the best players,” said Frost, who played in this year’s AHL All-Star Game. “I’ve watched him since I was a kid. I don’t want to say I know what to expect, but I’ve kind of watched it and it’ll be a tough game. They’re a really good team.”
The Caps have 77 points, the second-most in the NHL, behind Boston (80).
Frost will center James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Pitlick on Saturday, and he will also play on one of the power-play units.
“He should be excited; he should bring energy to the game tonight,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “It’s a tough opponent, so let’s see what he can bring.”
For the first time since he was traded to the Flyers for Radko Gudas, Matt Niskanen is returning to face the Caps in Washington. Niskanen helped the Capitals win the Stanley Cup two years ago.
“Anybody who has been around Matt knows the professionalism he brings, day in and day out,” Vigneault said, adding that Niskanen has helped Ivan Provorov’s development. “He’s had a very big impact on our team, too.”
He said Niskanen has brought “quiet leadership and played some real good hockey. I think at the end of the day, this is a trade that has helped both teams.”
Niskanen has seven goals, 24 points, and a plus-1 rating.
Gudas has two goals, 15 points, and a plus-21 rating.
On Saturday, Claude Giroux will try to end a 13-game goal-less streak, which is tied for the longest of his career.
Girouix will go back to left wing on a line with Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek.
Vigneault noted “it seems like everybody who plays with Coots finds a way to get going.”
Couturier is being called “Dr. Coots” because he solves what ails scorers, Vigneault said with a smile.
The Flyers are 12-4-4 with Giroux at center, 17-14-3 when he plays left wing.