Dale Weise back in Flyers' lineup vs. Canadiens, Taylor Leier out

FNOT09
Philadelphia Flyers winger Dale Weise will face his former Montreal Canadiens teammates Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.

After sitting out the last 13 games, Dale Weise returned to the Flyers’ lineup Thursday against the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

“It feels good,” Weise, who spent parts of three seasons with the Canadiens, said after Thursday’s morning skate in Voorhees. “Obviously it’s (been) frustrating. Everybody wants to play, but the boys have been on a pretty good roll there, so that’s good. It’s a pretty big game for me, so I’m excited.”

Weise, who scored 14 goals for Montreal in 2015-16, played in his first game since Jan. 4, when he was minus-2 in a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. He had four goals, two assists, and a minus-7 rating in 34 games before Thursday.

The 29-year-old winger conceded it was difficult staying mentally into the game when sitting for such a long stretch.

“It’s really tough,” he said. “You just have to find a way to be a good teammate, put a smile on your face, put some extra work in on game days and in the gym, and just be ready as much as you can.”

He said he was excited to face his ex-teammates.

“I still have a ton of good friends on the team,” he said. “I enjoyed my time there very, very much.”

Taylor Leier, despite being given lots of praise lately from coach Dave Hakstol and being promoted to the third line, was a healthy scratch.

Hakstol said he liked Leier’s play in the Flyers’ 2-1 overtime win Tuesday in Carolina.

“But that’s part of his role right now — when we need him in the lineup, he goes in and he does a really good job,” Hakstol said. “It’s a good opportunity for Dale to go in and help us.”

Hakstol opted for the 6-foot-2, 206-pound Weise’s physical play instead of Leier’s speed against the Canadiens.

Leier, who had also been playing on the second power-play unit, was disappointed to be out of the lineup, “but that comes with the territory,” he said. “Like Dave said, it’s the role I’m playing now and that’s in the bottom six. I’m ready for everything. Those three games, I was pretty happy with the way I played.”

He had been out of the lineup for six games before playing in three straight.

Michael Raffl, who started Tuesday’s game in Carolina on the fourth line, joined Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal on Thursday’s third unit.

Weise was on the fourth line, alongside Val Filppula and Jori Lehtera.

Breakaways

Thursday was designated as “You Can Play” night. The “You Can Play” project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect, and safety for those who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans….Ivan Provorov, 21, entered the night averaging 24 minutes, 31 seconds per game, tops in the NHL among players under 23.