At long last, the Flyers are set to make their return to the ice. It's been a long 10 days off the ice for the Flyers. They had their game last Tuesday postponed on the morning of due to COVID protocols. They were on a league-mandated quarantine for seven days. They will be shorthanded upon their return with several players still on the COVID list.

The Flyers face the New York Rangers in their first game since last Sunday. The Rangers enter this game on a four-game losing streak, fresh off a loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in the Devils' first game back since their own COVID situation.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPNew York RangersGPGAP
James van Riemsdyk1371118Artemi Panarin1251015
Joel Farabee136612Pavel Buchnevich14459
Jake Voracek133912Adam Fox14167
Kevin Hayes136511Ryan Strome14426
Claude Giroux1311011Chris Kreider14415

Players To Watch 2-18
With the Flyers coming in shorthanded, they will need veteran players to step up. Sean Couturier has now had an additional week off to recover and made his presence felt in his return to the lineup in the last game on Feb. 7. The Flyers will need another big game out of him to remain competitive.
Much of the New York Rangers offense runs through Artemi Panarin. The forward has 15 points on the season, which doubles up nearly all of his teammates in point production. Panarin missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, and the Rangers suffered without his presence, scoring just two goals in the two games.
Goalie Matchup 2-18
Carter Hart will be between the pipes as the Flyers make their return. The numbers still aren't pretty for Hart this season, but he has consistently put his team in a position to win games.Igor Shesterkin was in goal for the Rangers loss to the Devils earlier in the week, but it appears that he will get the call once again in Thursday's game against the Flyers. Shesterkin has lost his last three starts, though prior to allowing four goals in the loss to the Devils on Tuesday, he had a string of five straight games allowing two goals or less.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 2-18

Flyers Scratches: Claude Giroux (COVID list), Jake Voracek (COVID list), Travis Konecny (COVID list), Oskar Lindblom (COVID list), Justin Braun (COVID list), Scott Laughton (COVID list), Morgan Frost (injury), Mark Friedman (healthy), Nate Prosser (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 2-18

Rangers Scratches: Jacob Trouba (injury), Jack Johnson (injury), Filip Chytil (injury), Julien Gauthier (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: The Flyers are using a makeshift lineup that will include the season debut of David Kase and the NHL debut of Maksim Sushko. The Flyers have six otherwise healthy regulars that are out due to their placement on the NHL's COVID Unavailable list, including captain Claude Giroux and forwards Jake Voracek, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton.
  • Rangers: The Rangers will get Artemi Panarin back in the lineup after a two-game absence, but lose defenseman Jacob Trouba, who will be out for multiple weeks with a broken thumb.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (15th), Rangers (28th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (29th), Rangers (9th)
  • Recent History vs. Rangers 
    • Dec. 23, 2019 - Flyers 5, Rangers 1 (at PHI)
    • Feb. 28, 2020 - Flyers 5, Rangers 2 (at PHI)
    • March 1, 2020 - Flyers 5, Rangers 3 (at NYR)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Rangers
    • Kevin Hayes - 3 GP, 3 G, 0 A, 3 P
    • Travis Sanheim - 9 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P
    • Sean Couturier - 34 GP, 13 G, 23 A, 36 P
    • Carter Hart - 4 GP, 3-1-0, 2.25 GAA, .921 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • James van Riemsdyk needs one goal to reach 100 as a Flyer.
    • Erik Gustafsson needs two assists to reach 100 in his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia 
Radio: 97.3 ESPN

Game Preview Video

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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