Shayne Gostisbehere’s mended knee should be a good sign for the Flyers’ power-play, but it was bad news for Egor Zamula.

Gostisbehere was back in the lineup Saturday after missing three games with a knee sprain. Zamula, a rookie free agent who was good enough to claim a spot on last year’s playoff reserve squad, was returned to the Phantoms.

Defenseman Wyatte Wylie was brought up to the taxi squad to help the Flyers fulfill the minimum requirements.

Gostisbehere was -2, starting off paired with Travis Sanheim. The pair were caught flat-footed on the Devils second goal in a 4-1 loss. Midway through the second period, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault teamed Gostisbehere with Robert Hagg.

Expect the Flyers to continue juggling the lineup after being mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase on Thursday. Among the summer’s biggest decisions is which players to protect from the expansion draft.

Teams have two options for protection lists, and the Flyers are expected to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie. Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim are virtual locks, leaving Gostisbehere and Phil Myers, 24, as potential candidates to be unprotected.

Gostisbehere, who turned 28 on April 20, is a good offensive defenseman who is signed through 2022-23 at a $4.5 million salary-cap hit per year. He entered Saturday tied for second on the team with four power-play goals. Like every other defenseman on the roster, he also has had a hand in the Flyers having the worst goals-against average in the league.

Gostisbehere is minus-4 in 37 games this season. Myers is minus-13 in 38 games.

» READ MORE: Flyers to-do list includes figuring out expansion draft protection list | Sam Carchidi

The other option for expansion protection is one goaltender and eight skaters (regardless of position).

Zamula, an undrafted free agent who is not subject to the expansion draft, played pretty well in his first two games. He logged 19 minutes in his debut Tuesday, 15 again on Thursday. He did not register a point, but was plus-1.

“The young man obviously has some puck skills, but it’s a small sample size,” Vigneault said Friday. “This is the best league in the world, but he has shown some upside.”

Provorov also was encouraged by what he saw from his Russian compatriot this week.

“I think he played solid, didn’t really make too many mistakes out there,” Provorov said. “It’s definitely an adjustment for him.”

The Brian & Alex Show

Third goaltender Felix Sandstrom had a pair of sterling performances for the Phantoms at the end of April, but is not being considered for a start for the Flyers over the season’s final week.

“Felix has just has a small sample size in the American [Hockey] League,” Vigneault said. “He played extremely well the last two games. Today, I would say it’s going to be Brian [Elliott] and Alex [Lyon]. But things are always evolving and changing, so you never know.”

A third-round pick in 2015, Sandstrom stopped 69 of 73 shots in a pair of victories on April 24 and April 28. The 24-year-old is occupying the obligatory spot on the Flyers’ taxi squad.

» READ MORE: Flyers have the worst defense in the league; why not try the kid?

Three & out

  • Phantoms defenseman Cam York, the 2019 first-round pick who turned pro on March 31, will miss his second consecutive game Saturday with a lower-body injury. Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said York skated Friday “and is close, but we’re not going to rush him back.” The Phantoms have seven games remaining after hosting Binghamton on Saturday night. The AHL already has decided not to have a postseason.

  • If not for Sunday’s improbable comeback — when Claude Giroux scored twice with the goalie pulled, which led to a win in a shootout — the Flyers would be looking at a possible four-game sweep by the Devils of this week’s quirky set. That’s not good.

  • Elliott started in net for the Flyers, Kevin Hayes and Nic Aube-Kubel also returned. Carsen Twarynski and Jackson Cates were the forwards who were scratched.