Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game Three

Report: Flyers’ Danny Briere could return this weekend…maybe


The Philadelphia Flyers are off to an 0-3 start to begin the lockout-shortened 48-game regular season and have scored just three goals in that span.

But there could be good news – or at least better news – on the horizon.

Right winger Danny Briere, 35, could return to the Flyers lineup this weekend, according to a report on

“I felt a little better again, today,” Briere told

“It seems every time I have been skating, I take the next step, but then there is something else that prevents me from going too hard or all out.

Briere, who scored eight times and contributed 13 points overall in 11 post-season games for Philadelphia last year, injured his wrist while playing in Germany during the NHL lockout.

The pending Briere return comes at a time when the Flyers are struggling to find any scoring at all.

The Flyers, after losses to Pittsburgh and Buffalo on the weekend, fell 3-0 to the New Jersey Devils, last year’s Stanley Cup finalists, on the road.

Travis Zajac, David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk – on a penalty shot – scored for the Devils.

And, of course, fans, media and former players are taking notice. Twitter, as it does most nights in the NHL, lit up with chatter of the Flyers’ current ineptitude.

The Devils, on the other hand, didn’t have Zach Parise in the lineup. He signed that 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild during the summer. Adam Henrique, one of three Calder Trophy finalists last season, is also seven-to-10 days away from returning from thumb surgery.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


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