PHILADELPHIA -- According to CSNPhilly.com, Philadelphia's Simon Gagne will be back in the lineup Friday night for Game 4 (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN), just 14 days after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured right foot.
CSNPhilly.com is reporting that a team source said the decision was made shortly after Friday's optional skate. Gagne is expected to resume his role on the top line with center Mike Richards and Daniel Carcillo.
Gagne, who had two screws surgically implanted into the big toe on his right foot April 23, went through a full morning skate on Thursday but sat out an optional practice Friday morning at Wachovia Center to rest up. The Boston Bruins hold a 3-0 lead over the Flyers in this Eastern Conference Semifinal best-of-7 matchup.
Coach Peter Laviolette admitted the 10-year veteran's ice time could be reduced. In particular, Gagne's role as a penalty-killer may be limited.
Laviolette said Gagne would probably get the same treatment that Jeff Carter received when he returned after missing eight games at the end of the regular season with a fractured left foot. Carter saw 16:16 of ice time in his return to the lineup on April 9 and then 22:46 in the season-finale against the New York Rangers two days later.
"When Carter came back from the same circumstances, he didn't kill penalties either because of the situation he was in, so when Simon comes back to the lineup -- whenever that is -- he'll probably steer clear of those situations as well," Laviolette said. "When it comes to minutes when players come back and are available, it depends on how they look and feel in the game."
Gagne averaged 18:11 of ice time in four playoff games this season, including 3:42 on the power-play and 2:51 while shorthanded.
"I'll try to keep it simple by not trying to do too much; it's been a while since I played a game and the game is fast out there," Gagne said. "It's physical and I think I'm going to try and find myself out there -- find out where I'm at and from there I'll try to get better and better as the game goes on."
The fact the Flyers are one game away from seeing their season come to end had to have played a role in Gagne's decision to give it a go. The initial diagnosis after fracturing his right foot while blocking a shot in Game 4 against the New Jersey Devils had him sidelined three weeks.
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