Because of an upper-body injury to defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who took a puck off the face and will miss the game Tuesday against the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues (50-17-7), Gustafsson will be inserted into the Flyers' lineup (39-27-8) for the first time since Feb. 27.
Gustafsson, who has two goals and 10 points in 27 games, is anxious to play rather than feeling bad about not being part of the mix in recent weeks.
"I don't look at it like that at all. I look at it that it's going to be a lot of fun tonight," Gustafsson said. "… You don't want to be on the other side. It's not easy, especially mentally to stay ready, but that's part of the business we're in and I'm happy for the chance I get tonight.
"When I play good, I think I'm a good defenseman in this League. I just need to find consistency moving the puck all the time and moving my feet. Just keep those two things in mind and that will go a long way."
"Just normal play from him," Berube said. "He's got to be a good defender first of all, move the puck. Gus does that. If he moves his feet, he'll be fine.
"Looking back on the whole year, he's had some real, real good games. There's times where he didn't play as good or didn't move the puck as well. I don't think I'm looking for more than what he's capable of doing. He's a puck-mover and he moves well and I think Gus defends well. I think our 'D' has been pretty healthy and stuff; a lot of times he was just the odd man out."
Berube said Timonen, who has five goals and 32 points in 71 games, could have played but he chose to give the 39-year-old some rest.
"I think he'll be fine," Berube said. "He could have probably came and played, but I think it's important too that he's rested and feeling good. He's an older guy. He'll be ready."
Tuesday will mark the Flyers' first visit to St. Louis since Oct. 9, 2010, a 2-1 overtime victory for the Blues.
Both teams have plenty to play for. Philadelphia is jockeying with the New York Rangers for home-ice advantage in a potential first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues are one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks with a game in hand for the Western Conference's top seed. St. Louis trails the Boston Bruins by three points (110-107) for the Presidents' Trophy lead.
Here are the projected lineups for the Flyers and Blues: