Flyers move Schenn to second-line center

FLYR28
Flyers center Brayden Schenn.

Brayden Schenn, the traveling man, is once again moving to another line.

When the Flyers (11-10-3) play in Ottawa (14-8-1) on Thursday, Schenn will be the second-line center, between left winger Travis Konecny - who was limping noticeably Wednesday - and right winger Wayne Simmonds.

"I'm at the center spot and playing with two great wingers, so hopefully the three of us can click and make it happen," Schenn said after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees.

It appears the Nick Cousins second-line experiment is over. Cousins played four games in that spot, replacing the injured Sean Couturier. In those four games, Cousins had one point, total, and a minus-1 rating, and won only 24.5 percent of his faceoffs (13 of 53).

So now Schenn, a 26-goal scorer last season, will get a chance. He has been used this season as a top- and third-line left winger, and as a third- and fourth-line center.

"I've played a lot with Simmer and a little bit with T.K. at the beginning of the year," said Schenn, 25, who admitted he hopes this is his last position stop. "I'll just try to fit into that line. Play responsible at both ends of the ice, and both guys are capable of making a lot of plays. Hopefully, this gives us more five-on-five scoring."

In five-on-five play, the Flyers have been outscored, 54-45.

"With [Couturier] out of the lineup for the next little bit, we're still looking for ways to improve our group five on five, and that's one thing we can look at," coach Dave Hakstol said.

Referring to his constant shuffling among lines, Schenn said he tries "not to change my game too much because it happens quite frequently."

Schenn, who has just three goals, signed a four-year, $20.5 million contract in July, but he says the burden of trying to justify the big deal hasn't been weighing on him. But he added that "I still have some better hockey in front of me. I've felt I've played good at times, bad at times. I have to try to be as consistent as possible."

The Saskatoon native has just one goal in his last 16 games.

"It's not from a lack of trying or not wanting to," he said. "Hopefully pucks will start going in. As long as the chances keep coming, hopefully goals will come."

At practice Wednesday, Cousins centered Chris VandeVelde and Roman Lyubimov.

As for his time on the second line, Cousins (three goals) said it was "nice to get your feet wet, play a little bit more minutes, and even get on the power play. It was nice to get an opportunity, and I thought I did OK."

Breakaways. Konecny suffered a charley horse in the third period of Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Boston but practiced Wednesday and said he would play in Ottawa, which scored a 3-2 shootout win over the Flyers on Nov. 15. . . . Ottawa will be without winger Bobby Ryan, the Cherry Hill native who reinjured his right hand Tuesday and is sidelined indefinitely. Ryan has just three goals. Also, goalie Craig Anderson has taken a leave of absence as his wife battles a rare form of throat cancer. . . . The Bruins' 47 shots Tuesday were the most they had against the Flyers since Feb. 9, 1974, when they had 48 shots and beat Bernie Parent, 5-3, in Boston.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull www.philly.com/flyersblog

Continue Reading