Flyers' Carter, Laperriere back for Game 4
The Philadelphia Flyers will have some added toughness and scoring punch for Saturday's Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference final in Montreal (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3 p.m. ET).
Checking forward Ian Laperriere and centre Jeff Carter will return to the lineup in hopes of helping the Flyers extend their lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-1.
"Both of them have had long layoffs," Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger told reporters. "It's tough to throw yourself back in there. You have to get back into game shape."
The Montreal-born Laperriere, who will take the place of right-winger Andreas Nodl, hasn't played since April 22 after suffering a concussion, brain contusion and fractured orbital bone. He required 70 stitches to close a wound on his face.
At Friday's practice, Laperriere skated with his regular linemates, Darroll Powe and Blair Betts.
Laperriere said four weeks ago it would take a "small miracle" for him to return to post-season action.
"We all know what he does on the ice," Flyers forward Daniel Briere told Philadelphia reporters of Laperriere. "He's tough to play against. He's a great penalty killer. He brings a lot of energy, finishes his checks.
"He does a lot of little things right that helps out your team."
Carter, who led the Flyers in goals with 33 during the regular season, has been sidelined with a fractured right foot since April 20. He has two goals and three points in four games in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
Carter seemed to have plenty of jump at Thursday's workout at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
"He was skating and shooting and passing," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "He looked good."
Scott Hartnell skated on Carter's line in the first-round playoff matchup against New Jersey.
"He's a competitor and he wants to be out there," Hartnell said. "It [Carter's return] will be a big boost for us."