The injury-riddled Philadelphia Flyers may be getting a key player back in the lineup.
Hours after testing a new skate on Saturday, Peter Forsberg could be back to try and help the Flyers avoid a season high-tying sixth straight loss as they meet the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
The Flyers captain has spent much of this week working with foot experts at Philadelphia's Temple University and in Montreal coming up with a new skate for his surgically repaired right ankle. Forsberg is to try the new skate during morning practice and be back in uniform that night.
"I would say there's somewhat of a chance that he might play tomorrow," general manager Paul Holmgren said Friday.
Coming into this season, Forsberg averaged 81 points in 10 seasons with Quebec, Colorado and Philadelphia. This season, the 2003 Hart Trophy winner has just seven goals and nine assists in 22 games.
The Flyers also are 0-6-3 in games Forsberg has missed. Coach John Stevens said Forsberg's return would be a welcome one for a team that has the league's worst record (8-19-4), fewest points (20) and fewest goals (76).
"Does he mean a lot to our team? Absolutely he does," Stevens said. "He always seems to be the guy who can be a game-breaker, while at the same time outscore the other team's best player. He makes us a better team, no question."
Despite Forsberg's possible return, the Flyers have other holes to fill on their roster. After Denis Gauthier (shoulder) and Robert Esche (groin) underwent surgery last month, Mike Richards and Geoff Sanderson each had surgery Tuesday to fix sports hernias.
Jeff Carter is still recovering from a broken leg and Mike Rathje remains out with a medical condition that causes pain in the backside. Freddy Meyer and Sami Kapanen are day-to-day with back injuries.
Rookie Ryan Potulny had a goal and an assist, and Alexandre Picard, also a rookie, added two assists in an 8-4 loss to cross-state rival Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Flyers went 0-5-1 from Nov. 2-13, which included a 5-3 loss to the Capitals that snapped a 16-game unbeaten streak in Philadelphia.
While the Flyers may be getting their superstar back, Alexander Ovechkin has been red-hot for Washington (13-11-7). He scored the tying goal with 30 seconds left in regulation then completed the second hat trick of his career just 6 seconds into overtime as the Caps defeated Southeast Division leader Atlanta 3-2 on Friday.
"He's the kind of game-breaker every coach dreams about," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said of Ovechkin. "If you don''t have someone to score goals for you when the game is on the line, it's extremely difficult to win games."
During his season-high six-game points streak, the 2006 Calder Trophy winner has five goals and eight assists.
"When he wants to - and that's 99.9 percent of the time - he can make things happen," Washington captain Chris Clark said of Ovechkin.
Ovechkin has three goals and two assists in two wins over the Flyers this season - matching his output in four games against them last season.
Washington will be trying to win three straight from the Flyers in one season for the first time since going 4-1 with one tie in 1992-93, when both teams were in the Patrick Division.
This also will be the first game since the death of Capitals part-owner Joshua Freeman late Thursday. Freeman, 42, was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in a southern Delaware field.