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Mikhail Vorobyev to get another chance with Flyers when they face Bruins

The rookie center will get another chance to show he belongs in the NHL when he returns to the lineup Thursday.

After being benched for three games, rookie  center Mikhail "Misha" Vorobyev will return to the Flyers lineup Thursday in Boston.
After being benched for three games, rookie center Mikhail "Misha" Vorobyev will return to the Flyers lineup Thursday in Boston.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

After being a healthy scratch in the last three games, rookie center Mikhail Vorobyev will return to the Flyers' lineup Thursday in Boston, based on Wednesday's practice lines.

Coach Dave Hakstol said he wants to see a "higher level of consistent effort in all three zones" than the 21-year-old Vorobyev (one goal, one assist) displayed in most of his first six games.

"More tenacity on pucks. A little bit quicker play defensively without the puck," Hakstol said. "All of those things that come with getting acclimated to the regular-season pace. It's a little bit different than the preseason pace. There's another step there the players have to push to, and this is his first time doing that. That needs to happen now."

Sitting in the press box, Vorobyev said, was beneficial.

"I was able to learn, and I was able to talk with the coaches about my play and my shifts," he said. "… I was able to watch the game from upstairs and see how the system works. I saw how to play in the 'D' zone and neutral zone."

If Oskar Lindblom is benched Thursday, Jordan Weal would shift from center to left wing on Vorobyev's line, and Wayne Simmonds will play right wing.

Lindblom, who has two goals in nine games, "has been good positionally and good defensively," Hakstol said. "I think we can have him contribute a little more on the offensive side of the game."

For the Flyers (4-5), this will be the second straight game they'll face one of the league's best lines.

One game after Nathan MacKinnon and his Colorado linemates scored three goals in a 4-1 win Monday against them, the Flyers get to face the Bruins trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. Since the Flyers are on the road, they won't be able to get the matchups they want against Bergeron's line.

"They've been playing together for a couple years now," left winger Claude Giroux said, "and each player brings a little something to the line."

Defending the high-powered line of the Bruins (5-2-2) is "a matter of being very intelligent in how you play with the puck and the spots you put yourself in," Hakstol said. "It's got to be a consistent effort over 60 minutes if you want to have success against that group."

Pastrnak (10 goals, 15 points) shares the NHL goal-scoring lead with Toronto's Auston Matthews, while Bergeron (16 points) is tied for the league lead in points with Matthews and Colorado's Miko Rantanen, who had two goals Monday against the Flyers.

Marchand, the left winger on the line, is tied for eighth in the NHL with 13 points.

"The maturity of that line is outstanding," Hakstol said. "The chemistry they have, in terms of finding each other on the ice, is at a different level than most lines you see."


Michal Neuvirth,  on a conditioning stint with the Phantoms, stopped 31 of 34 shots Wednesday in a 7-3 win at Hartford. … Creative right winger Travis Konecny will return to the top line with Giroux and Sean Couturier. Hakstol said he doesn't want Konecny to change his game "and become all about just trying to generate offense. He has to be a worker and has to let his dynamic abilities help him be a good player on that line." In the first nine games, the Flyers used Konecny (two games), Jake Voracek (five) and Simmonds (two) as the top-line right winger. Konecny had 20 goals in 41 games with the No. 1 unit last season. … Corban Knight will replace injured Michael Raffl on the fourth line. … The Flyers' dads will be in Boston for the annual father-son trip.