Fresh off losing a key player for Game 5, the Flyers look like they’re getting one back.
That’s the news after the morning skate — Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi reports Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros “appears in” for tonight’s elimination contest against New Jersey. The steady rearguard has yet to play in this postseason after undergoing back surgery in late March.
If that’s the case, it’s a huge boon for a team reeling from the loss of leading scorer Claude Giroux, who is suspended for tonight’s game after delivering headshot to Dainius Zubrus in Game 4.
NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman noted that, with defenseman Andreas Lilja skating with the scratches (Pavel Kubina, Jody Shelley), all signs point to Meszaros playing his first game since Mar. 1. Prior to getting hurt, “Mez” was playing over 20 minutes a night and led all Flyers defensemen in goals, with seven.
As for other debuts, Zac Rinaldo figures to get his first look of the series tonight in place of Giroux. The 21-year-old hasn’t played since Game 4 of the Pittsburgh series — a 10-3 loss in which he saw just 3:39 of action — but sounded determined to make a difference with Philly’s season on the line.
“G’s been our best player all year. We owe him one,” Rinaldo told Philly.com. “This one is for him.”