-- After a week away from the intensity of a Stanley Cup Playoff game, the Philadelphia Flyers
will return to the ice Sunday against the New Jersey Devils
in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
During their seven-day layoff, the Flyers practiced all but one day, as coach Peter Laviolette
did his best to keep his team active.
"We tried to work on things we needed to work on," Laviolette told NHL.com. "Spend a lot of time on the power play, systems, skating. We didn't take any days off; we just kept pushing forward. We got a little bit healthier. We're hoping that we can take the rest and the time that we had off and put it to good use and be ready at the start of the hockey game."
Whether that health extends to defenseman Nicklas Grossmann
remains to be seen. Grossmann sat out Games 5 and 6 of the first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins
with an upper-body injury that one teammate called a concussion. However, Grossmann skated with the full group at practice Friday and Saturday, and went through drills with Braydon Coburn
, his regular defense partner.
Laviolette, as is his rule, refused to address injury or lineup questions. If Grossmann does play, it's believed Pavel Kubina
would be a healthy scratch, with rookie Erik Gustafsson
, who had a goal and a team-high seven blocked shots in Game 6 against the Pens, staying in.
With the early start time here at Wells Fargo Center, the team did not have a morning skate. Here is the way the Flyers' lines looked at practice Saturday; whether those lines and pairings carry into the game, however, won't be known until the puck drops
- Claude Giroux
- Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk
- Danny Briere
- Jakub Voracek
- Brayden Schenn
- Wayne Simmonds
- Sean Couturier
- Eric Wellwood
- Nicklas Grossmann
- Matt Carle
- Erik Gustafsson
Forwards Zac Rinaldo
and Jody Shelley
will be healthy scratches. If Grossmann can't play, Pavel Kubina
would return to the lineup. Kubina was a healthy scratch in Game 1 against the Penguins. He returned to the lineup for the final five games after Marc-Andre Bourdon
was injured, but averaged just 10:35 of ice time per game, the fewest of any Philadelphia blueliner.
In four games against the Devils in the regular season, Bryzgalov was 3-0-0 with a 0.29 goals-against average and .987 save percentage -- he allowed one goal on 76 shots.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK