A healthy Laughton happy to finally get back into action

Scott Laughton

LOS ANGELES – Good two-play players are always a significant part of winning teams, so the Flyers were pleased to be getting two of their best back in action.

On Sunday night, Michael Raffl returned to the lineup after sitting out 10 games with a broken little finger.

On Tuesday night, Scott Laughton got back into action against the Kings after recovering from a nagging groin injury.

It was a welcome addition to coach Alain Vigneault’s lineup.

Vigneault moved Raffl from center over to left wing on Laughton’s line along with Tyler Pitlick.

“I wanted to get Scott back (at center) in the lineup,’’ Vigneault said prior to the game at the Staples Center. “He will kill penalties, he’s a smart hockey player. Plays a two-hundred-foot game and brings a lot of energy.

“Obviously we’re real happy he’s back in the lineup.’’

Laughton already had to recover from a broken finger of his own earlier in the year so he was understandably anxious to see some ice time.

“It (the groin) was probably the toughest injury I’ve had, I was playing well (before),’’ Laughton said. “It (the two injuries) have been tough for me to sit out this many games. I haven’t gone through that many in my career.’’

The Flyers were playing their 40th game on Tuesday night and Laughton was playing in only his 20th.

“Just weird injuries,’’ he said. “Not really contact injuries. Took a puck off the finger then pulled the groin just skating up the ice.

“It’s been a weird year for me but the team has been doing really well. Hopefully I can provide a little bit of energy.’’

Entering the Kings game, Laughton had recorded four goals and a total of nine points with an even plus-minus rating this season.

Vigneault also created a new line (which he called “the kids’’), featuring Mikhail Vorobyev centering Joel Farabee and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

Veteran Andy Andreoff was scratched.

>Konecny praised

Vigneault had a chance to talk about the play of Travis Konecny, who was named to his first NHL All-Star Game on Monday.

Konecny will be the Flyers’ representative for the Metropolitan Division team when it plays at St. Louis on Jan. 25.

“He’s been one of our best players and most consistent competitors since the start of the year,’’ Vigneault said. “Good for the young man and hopefully it continues for him.’’

>Second straight start for Elliott

Vigneault said his decision to start Brian Elliott in goal against the Kings was based in large part on his performance in Sunday night’s 2-1 win over the Ducks.

“We had a day off in between,’’ Vigneault explained. “I liked his game. I really liked the way he battled after giving up that first goal (35 seconds into the first period).’’

>Voracek milestone

Jake Voracek’s two assists at Anaheim give him 465 for his career, moving him into sole possession of sixth place on the Flyers’ all-time list. He needs 16 more assists to pass Mark Recchi for fifth place, at which point he will trail only Bobby Clarke, Claude Giroux, Brian Propp and Bill Barber.

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About Wayne Fish 2471 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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