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Leighton Back, but is Carcillo Out?

by John McGourty / Philadelphia Flyers
(Voorhees, NJ) - Goalie Michael Leighton practiced Sunday at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone as starter Brian Boucher's backup but forward Daniel Carcillo, who was injured in the Flyers' 5-4 overtime victory Friday night, did not skate with the team and may miss Game 5 Monday in Boston (7:00 p.m., CSN).

The Flyers staved off elimination Friday night in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series when Simon Gagne, who missed the previous four games with a broken foot, scored at 14:40 of overtime. The Flyers now trail the best-of-seven series, 3-1.

If Carcillo, who sat on the bench for the third period and overtime, can't play, his likely replacement is Jon Kalinski, a left wing who can play center and who brings some grit. That's necessary when you're replacing a player nicknamed "Car Bomb."
Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton has been out of the lineup since suffering a high-ankle sprain in mid-March. (Getty Images)

Carcillo was rocked early in the first period by a check thrown by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk but played on through the final minutes of the second period.

Kalinski had two assists and was minus-2 in 10 games earlier this season with the Flyers. He had a goal and two assists in 12 games the year before. Kalinski spent most of this season with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms, where he had 10 goals and 28 points in 69 games.

General Manager Paul Holmgren said Carcillo has not been ruled out and that "he's made progress" since being injured Friday. Holmgren nodded when asked if Carcillo could play but did not reveal the nature of the injury.

"We're taking a lot of extra guys," Holmgren said. "If we need somebody to go in for a player that might be injured, the coaches have options. I think Michael (Leighton) is an option tomorrow to back up."

"I've been practicing for a week but that's the first time I've replaced Johan Backlund as the backup in practice," said Leighton, who suffered a high-ankle sprain on March 17. Leighton had the best record of any Flyers' goalie this season, 16-5-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Holmgren said he expects Kalinski, if he gets in the lineup, to play a grinding style of game.

"He didn't get quite the opportunity this year with the Flyers that he got last year," Holmgren said. "He's a funny kid because when he's in the American [Hockey] League, he's expected to produce points and when he comes up here the role he's in is more of an energy guy and to be more of a checker. I think that's what we project him to be when he makes it to the NHL and if he plays a game in the near future, that's probably the role he'll be in."

The Flyers know they have to improve their work on the power play against the Bruins. The Flyers were the NHL's third-best power-play team, with a 21.4 percent success rate during the regular season, but they are 0-for-10 in the past three games and only 2-for-15 for the series.

The Bruins killed all 19 Buffalo Sabres power plays in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series and lead the playoffs with a 94.1 percent kill rate.

"I don't think our execution has been really good," said Danny Briere, who tied for third on the Flyers during the regular season with eight power-play goals. "The biggest problem we have is coming up the ice, which is something I can't understand with the players that we have. We're not in sync, we're not coming together as a group. We're all trying to do it alone. That's an area we have to get better in. It's not really something that they do well, it's us not being in sync and it's us not doing it right, right now."

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said the team has been hurt by its inability to get into the zone and set up its power play.

"(Briere's) right. The initial set up on the power play hasn't been very good for us," Laviolette said. "A lot of times, (we haven't been good at) those one-on-one battles for the puck and making sure that we get a second man in there in support before they do.

“There were some times when it was one-and-done, we may have gotten a chance, but it was one-and-done and we didn't have sustained offensive-zone time on those power plays.”
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