The Philadelphia Flyers will be without six lineup regulars because of NHL COVID-19 protocol when they play the Boston Bruins in the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, SN1, TVAS).
Defenseman Justin Braun and forwards Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek, who each has been on the COVID-19 protocol list since at least Feb. 9, will not travel with the team.
“No one on that list is coming,” coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday.
Forward Morgan Frost also is on the protocol list but is not expected to play again this season because of a dislocated left shoulder sustained Jan. 19.
The Flyers host the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NBCSP, MSG, NHL.TV) in their first game since a 7-4 win at the Washington Capitals on Feb. 7. Two days later, their game Feb. 9 at the Capitals was postponed. Philadelphia also had a game against the New York Rangers scheduled for Sunday postponed, in addition to two games against the New Jersey Devils (Feb. 11 and Feb. 13) which previously had been postponed.
Philadelphia practiced with 16 players on Tuesday and 24 players Wednesday, including players from the taxi squad. Their lineup against the Rangers on Thursday will feature three players making their season debuts, forwards Maksim Sushko, David Kase and Andy Andreoff. Sushko, a fourth-round pick (No. 107) in the 2017 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut.
“I would say to everyone in our whole team tonight, since we’ve been out for so long, it’s tough to say how we’re going to react,” Vigneault said. “I feel real good with what I’ve seen so far but we’ll know come puck drop. I would say, let’s keep things simple here, let’s keep things high percentage, keep our shifts short on the ice.
“And for the new guys coming in, we’ve got quite a few guys that it’s going to be their first game this year, their second game. So keep things high percentage, stay energized, trust your instincts and go out there and at the end of the day, let’s go and play hard and have fun.”