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Pronger happy to help Flyers oust Sabres

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- In his second game back from a broken right hand that had sidelined him for nearly seven weeks, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger played 29 shifts totaling 17:27. He had one shot, blocked five shots and picked up an assist on James van Riemsdyk's second-period power-play goal.
 
It was a major increase from Game 6, when Pronger played just 4:33, all on the power play.
 
He talked about the condition of his hand, as well as a few other items, following the Flyers 5-2 victory in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
 
Q: Chris, can you talk about the power play and how it really helped you guys tonight?
 
Pronger: We were due. Obviously we got one and a half in Buffalo, Hartsie's (Scott Hartnell) tying goal was just after their penalty expired, so we'll count it as two last game and two tonight. We were going to need it early if we wanted to get up and get a lead and make them come from behind.
 
Q: How does your hand feel now coming through this series?

Pronger: It feels all right. I'm sure it'll be sore tomorrow. When isn't it?
 
Q
: Were you able to do more tonight than Game 6?

Pronger: Yeah, I think it was a good test. I really didn't do a whole lot in Game 6 other than the power play. It was a good test. You gain a little bit of comfort. I think as the series progresses, as you go through the rehab and the therapy and all the rest of that, eventually you hit a point where you have to test it and tonight was that night.
 
Q: It was a big leap from playing as little as you did in Game 6 to playing as much as you did tonight. What made you convinced you could handle it?

Pronger: I've been working pretty hard just skating with the injured guys, the Black Aces. You have to do that to try to prepare. It's tough to just jump into playoff speed and playoff action. I think we did a good job trying to simulate that as best we could through some of the skates and the practices I was able to partake in.
 
Q
: Was there ever a point you felt you might not play in this series?

Pronger: I don't know about that. I guess we'll never know, will we?
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie