Winger Chris VandeVelde, part of a fourth line and penalty-killing unit that have played well during the Flyers' recent surge, could be suspended for Wednesday's hit on his former college teammate, Chicago's Jonathan Toews.

The NHL's department of player safety said Thursday that Vandevelde will have a hearing Friday for elbowing Toews' head during the first period of the Flyers' 3-2 win Wednesday in Chicago.

The NHL is unpredictable in deciding which plays get reviewed. On Feb. 19, Montreal's P.K. Subban hit Claude Giroux with an elbow to the head, and the Flyers' captain missed three games with a suspected concussion. No hearing was held for that hit.

If VandeVelde is suspended, Jake Voracek figures to return to the lineup Saturday against Pittsburgh if he is deemed ready. Voracek has missed the last nine games with a foot injury.

R.J. Umberger and Jordan Weal are other options.

VandeVelde and Toews were teammate at North Dakota, which was coached by Dave Hakstol, now in his first season with the Flyers.

If VandeVelde isn't suspended, there's still a chance he comes out of the lineup when Voracek returns.

Without Voracek, the Flyers are 7-1-1 as many players have picked up the slack, including Brayden Schenn, who has six goals in his last eight games.

Voracek skated again Thursday, and he may be a game-time decision Saturday. He said it has been difficult sitting out, "but the boys have made it easy on me. It's much easier to watch when the team is winning and playing so good and playing such good offensive hockey."

Many Flyers are streaking. Sam Gagner has five goals in last 12 games; Michael Raffl and Shayne Gostisbehere each have four goals in their last six games; Wayne Simmonds has four goals in his last eight games; Claude Giroux has 10 points in his last nine games; and Sean Couturier has six points in his last six games.

Familiar pattern

Second-half surges are not new for Hakstol-coached teams.

In his 11 years as North Dakota's head coach, Hakstol's teams were 113-73-19 (.598) before Christmas and a staggering 176-69-24 (.699) after Christmas.