Cleaning out the notebook after Saturday’s methodical win over last-place Los Angeles. It was a nice victory, but the real test is Tuesday.
♦ Since going to the two-man low set up on the power-play a week ago, James van Riemsdyk has had some wonderful looks. He hasn’t scored in that formation, but teams have yet to adjust to him and Konecny down there. Van Riemsdyk’s goal on Saturday was on a deflection off a Claude Giroux blast.
♦ Coach Alain Vigneault said he was keeping Giroux in the middle of Konecny and van Riemsdyk, which is understandable after they put up seven points against the Kings. Giroux is more comfortable on the wing, but his linemates enjoy him in the middle. “It is definitely a different look for other teams,” Travis Konecny said. “He has a lot more options when he comes up the middle of the ice. For him, that makes it pretty deadly for other teams looking at that. It is definitely good for me and Reemer.”
♦ Both Columbus and the Flyers (58 points) jumped Carolina (57) in the wild-card race. The Hurricanes could be in trouble after losing their best player (Dougie Hamilton) to a broken leg. Columbus would be the first wild-card as a result of a tiebreaker, though both are just two points back of the Islanders for third place in the division.
♦ Matt Niskanen has done wonders for partner Ivan Provorov’s rejuvenation, but he’s hit a slump. Niskanen had a couple surprising turnovers again on Saturday and couldn’t contain Dustin Brown for the Kings’ only goal. He’ll see his former club, the Penguins, on Tuesday, then get helped by the extended break.
♦ Joel Farabee scored for the second consecutive game and had his third consecutive strong outing. Give him bonus points for staying on point after having to miss the Blues game on Wednesday when the Flyers were forced to send him to the AHL to make room for backup goalie Alex Lyon. Farabee moved up alongside Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek when Michael Raffl got hurt early in the third period.
♦ The Flyers are 11-1-1 when they lead after the first period. They are 15-16-5 when they don’t.
Vigneault on James van Riemsdyk, who ended a 12-game goal-less streak on Saturday: