|Braydon Coburn is helped off of the ice after getting hit in the face with a deflected puck early in Game 2 on Sunday in Pittsburgh. (Getty Images) |
(Voorhees, NJ) – With talented second-year defenseman Braydon Coburn
out for at least Game 3 with a facial injury, rookie Ryan Parent will be reinserted back into the lineup. Parent played in the Flyers’ first playoff game in Washington on April 11, but has been a healthy scratch ever since.
“We're fully confident Ryan can come in and play well,” said John Stevens. “He's an excellent defender. If anything, he's a guy that has the skill set to come in and help us right now.”
Even though he's only played in that one playoff game over a month ago, Parent thinks that experience is something he will be able to draw upon.
"I think the whole atmosphere of the playoffs was good to experience it at least once, just to kind of feel it," said Parent.
"But now the games are more intense as you get further [along]. So I'm sure it's going to be a different feeling. At the same time, at least it's not going to be that great of a shock."
Stevens was asked how he would handle his defensive pairings for Tuesday night’s Game 3 at the Wachovia Center
(7:30 p.m., Versus).
“We may move around a little bit. I think we might start [Parent] with [Jason Smith], [to] get a lefty and a righty there, and an experienced guy in Smitty.
“[We’ll] probably have to ask more of everybody. Obviously, more of [Jaroslav] Modry, and [Lasse] Kukkonen; and [Randy] Jones and [Derian Hatcher] play well together. But we'll move them around a little bit and let Ryan get his feet wet and see how it goes.”
Coburn spoke to the media for the first time since his injury on Tuesday morning from the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone
. His eye is still swollen shut, preventing him from playing at the moment.
“I feel fine,” he said. “You know, my eye is swollen shut, so it makes it a little hard to do things. But besides that, I feel alright.
“I think as soon as my eye opens up, we'll reevaluate what's going on. But I'm...my self-prognosis, or whatever it is, is that as soon as it opens up, I'm going to play.”
Although Coburn is unable to suit up, the good news was that there was no damage to his eye. Stevens, who was forced to retire due to taking a puck in the face, was especially relieved.
“The fact that he's here today is as good for him as it is for us,” said the head coach. “I think we're all relieved to hear that his eye is okay. There's no fracture to the bones around the eye. So, it's a very good sign from all fronts in terms of his injury.”
The Flyers have won Game 3 and Game 4 in front of their home fans in each of the first two playoff series so far. They will most likely have to keep that pattern intact in order to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997.Danny Briere
and his line, with Vaclav Prospal and Scott Hartnell
, will likely have to start producing in order for Philadelphia to prevail. After getting off to a hot start through the first two rounds, the line has been held pointless in the first two games.
“I thought in game number two, we created more, we had some chances, just we didn't finish, you know, and that's our job,” said Briere. “That's what we have to find a way to [do], finish our chances.”
“The ingredients are there. To me, it's just in the hands of [Prospal] right now. We need Vinny to step up and be a good player for us,” added Stevens.
“The good thing about Vinny is he takes responsibility for his play. He knows he can do more, and I would expect a big game out of that line tonight.”
Overall, Stevens sees a team that is excited to get back on the ice and prove it can hang with the 10-1 Penguins.
“We're down 0 2, but there wasn't anybody moping around feeling sorry for themselves,” he said. “They all know we need to play better. We're playing a very good team, and we're 1 of only 4 teams playing.”
“I think the feeling in the dressing room and on the ice is excitement,” explained Mike Richards, who has three of the team’s four goals in the series. “Everyone's looking forward to this opportunity to play at home. I think everyone knows the importance of tonight's game.”