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Preview: Flyers host Bruins as preseason winds down

Can rookie defenseman continue to prove they belong?

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers host the Bruins tonight at the Wells Fargo Center as the preseason slate fades away, with just one more meeting with the Islanders on tap on Sunday before the regular season starts in San Jose on Oct. 4.

Tonight’s game will air on TCN and on radio at 97.5 The Fanatic.

Thanks to a Travis Konecny overtime winner, the Flyers come in on a high note following their 4-3 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. Sam Morin, Scott Laughton, and Oskar Lindblom also scored for the Flyers in that one.

Following the game, the Flyers again cut down their roster, sending forwards Mike Vecchione and Mikhail Vorobyev to Lehigh Valley. The roster now stands at 28 players, as more cuts loom for GM Ron Hextall and the Flyers’ brass.

Still making their case for the opening day roster are a handful of the Flyers’ top prospects. Defensemen Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin and Robert Hagg are all holding their own, but Sanheim and Morin have each added offense in the past few games for a Flyers offense desperate for goals. Oskar Lindblom scored his first goal of the preseason on Tuesday and Nolan Patrick has begun to show his high offensive ceiling in recent games as well.

But even with a few strong performances under their belt, the youngsters will need to continue to play well these last two preseason games. Both Travis Sanheim and Sam Morin are in the lineup again tonight to continue to make their case for a spot on the final roster. Sanehim scored in back-to-back games against Boston and New York while Morin added his first goal of the preseason Tuesday.

As for the forwards, still battling for spots are Taylor Leier, Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom. From that group only Laughton will draw in for this one while Lindblom and Leier will sit. Of the three, Lindblom seems to be the safest bet to make the final cut, making Leier’s absence in the lineup tonight surprising.

The Claude Giroux wing experiment will continue tonight as it has the past few games to mixed results. The captain has created chances, but at times it has looked like both he and Sean Couturier are trying to play center at the same time. Giroux has largely drifted to the middle of the ice and adapting to life on the wing will certainly need more time.

Taking into account the lot of moving parts and pieces during the preseason, the Flyers’ power play has been dreadful despite the first unit being essentially intact the past few games. The lack of production isn't overly concerning since these games don’t count, but it is something to keep an eye on as opening night draws closer.

Speaking of closer, the Flyers season opener in San Jose is just six days away. Only two more preseason games, people.

Here were the Flyers’ lines this morning per Dave Isaac:

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Simmonds

Konecny - Filppula - Weise

Lehtera - Laughton - Read

Defense

Manning - Gudas

Morin - Gostisbehere

Provorov - Sanheim

Goalies

Alex Lyon

Neuvirth (Sick)

(Elliott) (at Wisconsin)