Whatever was missing from Voracek's first go-round on Giroux's line was found on Monday afternoon in the Flyers' 7-0 rout of the Islanders. Voracek collected the first four-point game of his career, as Giroux strung together his best outing of the young season.
But it got better. On Wednesday night, Voracek crafted the first hat trick of his career to fuel the Flyers' wild, 6-5 victory over the Penguins.
His first goal came with 9.9 seconds left in the second period, breaking a 2-2 tie. The second came 18 seconds into the third. The third goal came with 1:31 remaining, 32 seconds after the Penguins had forced a 5-5 tie.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, before Voracek's first two goals, no Flyer ever had scored two goals in 28 or fewer seconds around an intermission, with each goal coming in a different period.
Laviolette's lineup did not change for Wednesday's battle, until Matt Read left the game in the second period with an unspecified upper-body injury and did not return.
Laviolette created the new-look line, sans Hartnell, by plugging his three best players of the season together: Read, Voracek and Giroux. Danny Briere, Brayden Schenn, Tye McGinn and even Wayne Simmonds all had auditions to find chemistry with Giroux. Voracek is the only player to come through twice.
Voracek, 23, is off the best 18-game start of his career, making him a legitimate candidate to remain on Giroux's right wing even after Hartnell returns to the lineup sometime next week from a foot injury.
Voracek scored the go-ahead goal in the Flyers' victory over the Penguins.
Even in a shortened season, it's not a stretch to think that Voracek (six goals, 12 assists) could set a new career high with increased production next to Giroux. He set a career high last year in goals (18), but fell just short on points (49).
Interestingly, Voracek is off to his best start despite averaging less time per game (16:04) than he did in each of his last two seasons (16:17, 16:58 in Columbus). Voracek said he's finally just getting used to the North American game again, which could explain his difference in ice time. He skated in the KHL for HC Lev Praha during the lockout.
"He's a guy that likes to compete, whether it's playing soccer before the game or out on the ice," Giroux said. "You know he's going to work as hard as he's got the whole game. He's a fast player. He's strong, he rarely loses a battle."
Simmonds, who had two goals and an assist Wednesday, can battle as well as any Flyer. But few can protect the puck like Voracek. It's one of the reasons Laviolette loves to use him on the power play, where he can carry the puck through the neutral zone and set it all up.
"Yeah, Jagr's missing, but I think Giroux knows how to handle himself," Voracek said. "If he buried half the chances he's had, he would have 30 points right now. Nobody would be saying anything. But we have contributed as we wanted, the entire team, which has affected him pointwise and everything."
Forward Scott Hartnell is expected to rejoin the Flyers at practice on Friday after missing the last 15 games with a foot fracture.
Hartnell, who led the Flyers with 37 goals last season and was second in the league with 16 power-play tallies, visited a doctor and was cleared to return to practice. He is expected to miss the next 7 to 10 days of game action, although a return for Monday's home game against Toronto is not out of the question.
Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, out since Jan. 24 with a shoulder injury, is expected to receive an update from a team doctor on Thursday.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was in the press box at Consol Energy Center, taking in the Flyers-Penguins contest. It wouldn't be all that unusual, except this is the second time he's personally scouted the Flyers on the road this season. He also attended their Jan. 22 loss to New Jersey. Chiarelli's Bruins are in Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Bruins are reportedly in the market for a third-line winger who can chip in offensively. Boston has upwards of $10 million in cap space. The trade deadline is April 3.
On Twitter: @DNFlyers