The news was both good and bad for the Flyers this afternoon after practice. CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports that Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger appears likely to be back in the lineup for the Flyers for Game 5 against Buffalo.
Before Flyers fans get too excited, Panaccio reports that Pronger will likely play but in a reduced role than what we’re accustomed to seeing from him in the playoffs. Pronger will be used in the role that he’s most known for in being a defensive stopper. Expecting to see him on the power play would be asking a lot of him after dealing with a broken hand.
The bad news side of things is that it appears Jeff Carter will be out with a lower body injury suffered in Game 4. Carter is a key offensive player for Philly as he’s got a goal and an assist so far in the series. During the regular season he was huge scoring 36 goals. Having him out hurts their offensive capabilities a bit and going up against Ryan Miller makes life a little bit harder no matter what.
Make no mistake though, getting Pronger back is huge on defense and should help Brian Boucher look even better than he did in Games 3 and 4. Pronger is the rock on the blue line and as he goes, so do the Flyers. Philly can make up for Carter’s loss by getting guys like James van Riemsdyk, Ville Leino or Claude Giroux going. The Flyers haven’t been able to find someone that can cover for Pronger’s absence and his return to the lineup cannot be discounted.