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Flyers hope new-look power play will help snap skid; Nic Aube-Kubel to make NHL debut

The Flyers hope a new-look power play will help them end a three-game losing streak Tuesday in Anaheim.

Flyers right winger Nic Aube-Kubel is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday in Anaheim.
Flyers right winger Nic Aube-Kubel is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday in Anaheim.Read moreYONG KIM

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Flyers hope a change in their power-play units and the addition of a player making his NHL debut, right winger Nic Aube-Kubel, will help them end a three-game losing streak Tuesday in Anaheim.

Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds will move from the first to the second power-play unit, and Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny will be promoted from the second to the top unit.

The Flyers' power play is in a 1-for-20 funk over the last seven games, and overall they are tied for 23rd in the 31-team league, converting on 15 percent of their chances.

"We've gone through a stretch here where we haven't had the results, and it's just a way to look at two new units that have some different looks that are fresh for our players and also aren't pre-scouted quite as much as our first unit has been," coach Dave Hakstol said after a high-paced practice Monday at the Honda Center. "Hopefully it's a way to open up a little bit of space and some new opportunities."

The first unit will have Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, Patrick, Konecny, and Shayne Gostisbehere, while the second unit will be composed of Simmonds, Voracek, Jordan Weal, Travis Sanheim, and Ivan Provorov.

Voracek said he was little surprised by the changes, "but right now, nothing is going right, so it can't hurt."

"It gives teams something they're not used to seeing," Konecny said. "I think both units are pretty balanced now with Jake and Simmy on the other unit."

Aube-Kubel will be the right winger on the fourth line, which will probably be centered by Jori Lehtera and have Scott Laughton at left wing. Laughton had been on the third line. Aube-Kubel and winger Tyrell Goulbourne were recalled Monday from the AHL's Phantoms.

"I've been waiting my whole life for that moment," Aube-Kubel said of making his NHL debut. "I called my parents and my family and friends and told them. I'm super-excited for [Tuesday]."

Hakstol did not rule out also playing the feisty Goulbourne on the fourth line Tuesday. He said neither of the two call-ups will be used on the penalty kill Tuesday if they play.

The 22-year-old Aube-Kubel, had three goals and four assists in eight games with Lehigh Valley this season after a solid year (18 goals, 28 assists, and a team-best plus-24 rating) for the Phantoms in 2017-18.

In another change, winger Dale Weise will be promoted to the third line.

"Offensively, he's been one of our guys who's been on pucks and really worked in the offensive zone to come up with pucks and give us a chance," Hakstol said.

The Flyers (4-7) and Ducks (5-5-2) are going in the wrong direction. Anaheim has lost five straight, while the Flyers have dropped four of their last five.

The Flyers will be trying to take advantage of an Anaheim team that is allowing an NHL-high 39.1 shots per game. The Ducks are also generating the fewest shots per game (24.5).


The Flyers, Columbus, and Arizona are the only NHL teams that have not had a fighting major this season. That could soon change when Goulbourne is in the lineup. …. Brian Elliott, who is 2-5 with a 3.39 goals-against average and .886 save percentage, is expected to get the start Tuesday. … Anaheim goalie John Gibson has a .938 save percentage.. … The Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf has two goals and two assists over his last two games.. … The Flyers' penalty kill has dropped to last in the NHL (67.5 percent success rate).. … Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle is one win shy of tying Roger Neilson (460 victories) for 30th in NHL history.