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Internal competition heats up within Flyers' group of forwards originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Flyers (20-17-6) begin a back-to-back set over the weekend at the Wells Fargo Center when they welcome the Capitals (28-12-4) on Saturday.
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
When: 12:30 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at noon ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• With 13 games left in the 2020-21 regular season, there's plenty to watch in the Flyers' bottom six.
Some good internal competition is starting to brew as the evaluation for 2021-22 will continue over the club's remaining games. Tanner Laczynski is getting a chance to show his game, while Wade Allison, an intriguing power forward who was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft, made his NHL debut Thursday night and opened some eyes. The 23-year-old did a lot of good things and earned himself another look Saturday.
"For a player coming in and not having a practice with us, I thought for the most part he played how he was described," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said after his team's 2-1 shootout win over the Penguins. "Strong on the puck, goes to the net, had some opportunities tonight. It was a good start for him."
Nicolas Aube-Kubel was a healthy scratch to make room for Allison's debut. Vigneault cited Aube-Kubel's team-high number of penalties taken as the reason for why the 24-year-old winger was the odd man out. Aube-Kubel won a job over the stretch run last season but is in a spot in which he needs to earn back his role and minutes with smarter, more effective play.
On Thursday night, Allison tied Joel Farabee with a team-high four shots in 11:13 minutes. He played on the fourth line with Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick.
"They're both pretty sweet players," Allison said. "They both make tremendous plays, they know what's going on. They play the game right, so it was real easy for me to slide in there and try to contribute."
A little over three minutes into the third period, Patrick was forced to leave the game and did not return after a shot hit him in the head. Following the game, Vigneault said he saw Patrick and the 22-year-old center told him everything was fine.
Amid a stretch of three games in four days, the Flyers had an optional practice Friday. Patrick was one of seven players who did not skate. Vigneault on Friday said he still had to follow up on Patrick's status, but it sounded like Patrick would be OK for Saturday's game.
"I'm not 100 percent sure," Vigneault said. "I do know that the feedback that I got was everything was good. ... What I understand is he feels fine at this moment."
• Samuel Morin will draw back into the lineup on the back end. Vigneault said that the club was still making a decision on which defensemen would come out. It will likely be between Philippe Myers and Robert Hagg.
Carter Hart will start in net with Alex Lyon as his backup. Brian Elliott will get the nod Sunday against the Islanders.
• The Flyers are eight points behind the Bruins, who hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division.
After beating the Flyers, 6-1, on Tuesday, the Capitals lost to the Sabres, 5-2, on Thursday.
James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-Joel Farabee
Carsen Twarynski-Nolan Patrick-Wade Allison
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Robert Hagg
Samuel Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere
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