Trying to jump-start Nolan Patrick’s game, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault moved the center to right wing during practice Tuesday in Voorhees.
There’s a good chance Patrick, who missed all of last season with a migraine disorder, will play there Wednesday against the visiting New York Rangers.
At practice, Patrick was on a line with Claude Giroux, the left winger who returned to practice for the first time since being placed on the COVID-19 list on Feb. 9, and center Kevin Hayes.
Vigneault said he thought Hayes might be able to bring out the best in Patrick, who had been centering the third line.
Patrick, 22, has gone without a point in his last eight games.
“We need Nolan to play better than he has so far,” Vigneault said. “It’s not an easy situation when you’ve missed the amount of time he’s missed. But we need to find a way to help him find his game.”
Vigneault said that Patrick is a “smart player who is always in the right position,” but that he needs him to “make more plays than he’s making. I think he needs to be a little more involved, a little bit more intense in his one-on-one battles, with and without the puck. ... There’s too much potential there, too much talent for it at some point not to come out consistently.”
Friedman on waivers
Mark Friedman, 25, the defenseman who oddly was used at right wing in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to Boston, was placed on waivers Tuesday.
The Flyers hope he clears — new Penguins general manager Ron Hextall, who drafted Friedman for Philadelphia in the third round in 2014, may be interested — and can be placed on the taxi squad or with the Phantoms.
Left winger Oskar Lindblom, who missed a good portion of last season after being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, is still on the COVID-19 list but is making progress.
“I think, initially, Oskar had mild symptoms,” Vigneault said. “But he’s feeling fine. I think he’s a few days away from being able to come down and start to work out and skate.”
Vigneault saluted the league for having a game Sunday by the shores of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. “But I will say, though, that for us, a four-day trip at this time to play one game is a little bit challenging, especially if you consider our schedule moving forward — 41 games in 70 days [actually, 76] ... We’re going to need our players to be COVID-free and off the list and they need to stay healthy, and we’re going to need some depth.”
The league announced schedule changes to five Flyers games Tuesday:
• Flyers at Pittsburgh, originally April 13, is now March 6 at 1 p.m.
• Flyers at Boston, originally March 7, is now April 5 at 7 p.m.
* Boston at Flyers, originally April 5, is now April 10 at 2 p.m.
• Flyers at Washington, originally Feb. 9, is now April 13 at 7 p.m.
• Flyers at Rangers, originally Feb. 14, is now April 22 at 7 p.m.
Vigneault said defenseman Justin Braun will come off the COVID-19 list and will skate Wednesday morning, but he will not play in the game that night. ... Jake Voracek is believed to be close to coming off the COVID-19 list and might play Saturday in Buffalo. ... Artemi Panarin (personal reasons) and Kaapo Kakko (COVID-19 protocol) are among the players who will be missing from the Rangers’ lineup.