VOORHEES, N.J. --
Only 10 players took the ice here at Virtua Flyers Skate Zone on Saturday, but one was of particular interest -- defenseman Nicklas Grossmann
Grossmann sat out Game 4 with an upper-body injury he sustained in Game 3, and still is listed as day-to-day. However, Grossmann took two short spins on the ice with volunteer assistant coach Blair Betts
-- he skated early with the extra players and then again with the regular group. If he's skating so soon after what teammate Claude Giroux
called a concussion, there has to be hope for a rapid recovery, and possibly even a return for Game 6 on Sunday (Noon ET, NBC, TSN).
Since arriving in Philadelphia just before the trade deadline, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has provided the Flyers with a strong, steady, shot-blocking presence in the defensive zone. Flyers forward Scott Hartnell
said a lack of blocked shots was a big reason the team lost Game 5 on Friday.
With Grossmann in the lineup, the Flyers blocked an average of 16.5 shots per game in the first four games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins
. In Game 5, they blocked just 10.
"He's been great for us," Giroux said. "Defensively he plays against the best lines on the other side. He's a solid teammate. He's a guy that we rely on on the penalty kill and he racks up a lot of minutes on the ice. We'll see [if he plays]. It's good to have him on the ice."
The other players skating with the regular group were defensemen Andreas Lijla, Brandon Manning
, Erik Gustafsson
and Pavel Kubina
, forwards Jody Shelley
, Zac Rinaldo
and Tom Sestito
, and goalies Ilya Bryzgalov
and Sergei Bobrovsky
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK