It didn’t take long for Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom to notice a difference between NHL and AHL players.
“It’s only one game,” said Lindblom, who made his NHL debut in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win over Montreal, “but the players are smarter and better here.”
Playing on a line with center Scott Laughton and right winger Michael Raffl, Lindblom looked as if he belonged. The unit spent a lot of time in the offensive end.
“We had almost the same system down with the Phantoms this year, so I just followed the system and played my game,” he said before Thursday’s game against Columbus.
“It was a good start for Oskar. I thought he played a real solid game,” said coach Dave Hakstol, who on Thursday again used Lindblom on the second power-play unit and moved him to the No. 2 line in the last half of the game. “… I said before the game that his job, just like any other player, was to help us win a hockey game, and I felt he did that. He was very good on both sides of the puck.”
Lindblom, 21, was promoted from the Phantoms because of an injury to Wayne Simmonds, who is expected to miss at least two weeks. Travis Konecny, another dependable winger, also missed Thursday’s game with a foot injury.
The trade deadline at Monday at 3 p.m. Rick Nash, Evander Kane, Mike Hoffman, and Thomas Vanek are among the wingers who are expected to be dealt.
Konecny, who injured his left foot blocking a shot on Tuesday, labored Thursday in the morning skate and tested the foot in the pregame skate, after which it was deemed he could not play.
Konency has 11 goals and 24 points in the 25 games since he moved to the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
With Konency sidelined, Taylor Leier was inserted into the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous seven games. Leier was with Lindblom and Laughton on the “Give ’em L” Line.
Raffl move up to Konency’s right-wing spot on the top line.
The Flyers hope Konecny can play Saturday afternoon in Ottawa.
The Flyers had climbed from 28th in the NHL standings on Dec. 3 to a tie for 11th heading into Thursday.
Since ending a 10-game winless streak on Dec. 4, the Flyers had gone 23-8-3 for 49 points entering Thursday. Only Boston (25-5-4, 54 points) had more points in that span.
The Flyers are third in the NHL with a 53 percent success rate in faceoffs. … Couturier took 99 career goals into Thursday. … Jake Voracek’s two-goal game Tuesday was his first in more than 13 months.