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JVR may return for Flyers in Game 4

by Mike G. Morreale
PHILADELPHIA -- After notching their first win in a Stanley Cup Final game in 12 seasons, don't expect the Philadelphia Flyers to rest on their laurels.

In fact, rumors were swirling Friday during Philadelphia's morning skate that rookie James van Riemsdyk, a healthy scratch the previous two games, might be reinserted into the lineup for Game 4 at Wachovia Center (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS).

Neither coach Peter Laviolette or van Riemsdyk would reveal any such changes.

"Good try," said Laviolette when asked if van Riemsdyk would return to the lineup. "We don't talk about any lineups, you guys know that."

If van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup, it is uncertain who he would replace and, if so, if it would even be a forward.

"You'll have to speak to coach, I'm not even sure," van Riemsdyk told a few media members huddled around his stall following practice.

"If you do get that chance to get in there though, you have to make the most of it and it's going to be an exciting game and going to be another one of those games where it's a must win for us," van Riemsdyk said. "It'll be the biggest one of the season and we're going to have to come out flying."

Laviolette replaced van Riemsdyk with Daniel Carcillo in Game 2 in Chicago and Game 3 in Philadelphia. It marked the first two games he'd miss in the playoffs this spring after notching 2 goals, 4 points and a minus-3 rating in 18 previous contests. Van Riemsdyk liked the sense of desperation the Flyers played with in Game 3 to pull within 2-1 in the series.

"We just played with a little more urgency out there and picked up our skating game and that was really noticeable," he said. "We were just really trying to make plays and we were moving our feet."

Van Riemsdyk did credit Carcillo for generating a spark to the lineup. Still, Carcillo was benched in the third period and the overtime Wednesday and finished with 7:39 of ice time on 12 shifts.

"He's done a great job in there," van Riemsdyk said. "He's been skating, being physical and getting under their skin and those are the three things that he's always been known to be great at. So he's definitely done a good job doing that."

Claude Giroux, who scored the winner in Game 3 at the 5:59 mark into overtime, is excited the team now has an opportunity to pull even in the series.

"It was tough being down 0-2, but to have this opportunity to now tie it, 2-all, will be huge and I think we just have to do the same things that we did last game," Giroux said. "If we do that, we're going to give ourselves a chance to win. We just have to keep it simple and work hard. It'll be important to play first period just like we did the third period (of Game 3). If we can do that the whole game, that'll be good for us."

Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen considers Game 4 a must-win against the Blackhawks.

"This will be the most important game in our team and for most of these players' lives," he said. "We got to go out there and do our job. Obviously, it's a big game but we have to be able to relax and not panic and play our game and make sure we do our jobs. We know this is the key game for us to hopefully tie up the series."

The Flyers have gone a perfect 8-0 from Game 4 and beyond in each of their previous three playoff series.

"I think when you get to this point, I don't know if you're going to wear anybody down," Laviolette said. "Chicago plays a fast-paced game. The hockey the other night was very good hockey both ways. Certainly we feel like we're capable of going the distance based on our confidence and our conditioning.

"We can play that physical game," he continued. "We can play it for a long time. But they play that same style as well so I think that's what's leading to great hockey."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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