Monday, March 30, 2015

Craig Berube inserts Michael Raffl as center on Flyers' second line

Gallery: Flyers 5, Sabres 2

Coach Craig Berube apparently didn't like Vinny Lecavalier's performance on the second line Saturday in Boston, so he moved the veteran back to the fourth line.

Again.

But the bigger surprise was that Berube shifted rookie Michael Raffl to center the second unit against visiting Buffalo on Sunday night, alongside slumping Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

Schenn, who began the night with one goal in his last 10 games, has been the primary center on that line.

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    "We'll try to get it in deep and grind them out," Raffl said before the game. "That should be our mind-set."

    Raffl has played most of the season at left wing but says he is getting more comfortable at center.

    The 25-year-old Austrian has been on every line and said it "makes no difference" where he plays. "The mind-set is the same. You do whatever you have to do to help the team to win."

    The Flyers took a four-game losing streak into Sunday's game, including shootout defeats to NHL powers Boston and St. Louis.

    It helps to have a short memory in this league, Raffl said.

    "You lose a game. You win a game. You have to focus on the next game. It doesn't matter what happened in the past," he said.

    Raffl went into the night with nine goals and 22 points in 64 games; he had not scored in his last eight games.

    Lecavalier, who lost a key faceoff that led to the decisive goal by Boston on Saturday, centered Jay Rosehill and Adam Hall on the fourth line.

    Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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