NEW YORK -- After missing the last eight games with a broken left foot, Philadelphia center Jeff Carter returned to the lineup Friday night for the Flyers' pivotal game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
The Flyers, who lead the Rangers by two points in the battle for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, can clinch a playoff berth with a win.
Carter practiced for the first time Thursday and took part in the Flyers' morning skate Friday at Madison Square Garden.
Team management said he could do no further damage to his foot if he played, but he was still considered a game-time decision because nobody was quite sure of his pain threshold. Coach Peter Laviolette reiterated that Carter was a game-time decision during his 5 p.m. gathering with the media by the Flyers' dressing room.
Laviolette said Carter had to skate in warm-up and see how he felt because if the pain was too great than he wasn't going to play. Carter, who had a screw inserted into his left foot and the inside of his skate boot redesigned for comfort, looked fine in warm-ups and obviously can handle the pain.
Despite missing the last eight games, Carter remains the Flyers' leading goal scorer with 33 in 72 games.
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