Catching the coronavirus interrupted Scott Laughton’s season, but he hasn’t missed a beat since being sidelined for nearly three weeks.

Laughton, 26, has been one of the Flyers’ most consistent performers and has been elevated to the team’s second-line left winger the last five games. He has also played center this season.

“He’s very intense and has a bite to his game,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s the type of player, as a coach, that you like to have. He can go anywhere from one of the top-six forward positions to a bottom-six forward position -- in any role, and not say a word and just play.”

“He wants to win, he’s a team guy, and he’s been very effective for us so far,” Vigneault added.

Laughton has been a force on the Mustache Line, playing left wing on a productive unit with Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny. Hayes and Konecny are growing mustaches to show solidarity with Laughton, who started the trend.

A first-round selection (No. 20 overall) in 2012, Laughton has raised his play significantly in the last two seasons.

In a season slowed by injuries, Laughton still had a breakthrough year in 2019-20 (13 goals, 27 points, plus-13 in 49 games), then led the Flyers in the playoffs with five goals in 15 games.

“I’m just trying to build off kind of what I did last year, and the confidence I was playing with, especially in the playoffs and playing in some key situations,” Laughton said. “I just try to provide energy and the same thing every night -- try to bring consistency. It’s been a good year, but still lots of work to do.”

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In 21 games this season, Laughton has seven goals, 15 points, and a team-best plus-9 rating. He also plays with an edge and is one of the Flyers’ most ferocious forecheckers.

Laughton survived a bizarre play Tuesday. During a faceoff with Buffalo’s Curtis Lazar, Laughton went down hard after being flipped on his head by Lazar. No penalty was called. Laughton left the game for repairs, returned later in the period and helped the Flyers rally for a 5-4 shootout win.

“I played World Juniors with him. I know he plays hard and plays a strong two-way game,” Laughton said. “Just a weird play. I thought it was a dirty play. I put my foot in on the faceoff and he lifts my leg and I’m defenseless in that situation, where I don’t have any footing or grounding. Obviously, I landed pretty awkwardly, but was able to come back.”

And continue his rise as one of the Flyers’ most valuable forwards.

Somber anniversary

Friday marked the one-year anniversary of when the coronavirus shut down the Flyers’ regular season while in Tampa, Fla.

“We were trending the right way and obviously the pandemic stopped that,” Vigneault said. “It has been challenging, but we feel fortunate we can play and let people see some hockey and doing our part to get back to some sort of normalcy as soon as possible.”

Breakaways

After sitting out the last five periods over the last two games, Carter Hart (3.61 GAA, .888 save percentage) is expected to return Saturday against the Capitals. ... Wade Allison, the rugged right winger who underwent ankle surgery and has been on the injured nonroster list all season, was sent to the Phantoms, and Andy Andreoff was assigned to the Flyers’ taxi squad. ... Joel Farabee and James van Riemsdyk lead the Flyers with 11 goals apiece. ... Sean Couturier has three game-winning goals, tops on the team.