Jagr hoping for Sunday return to Flyers lineup

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Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Jaromir Jagr is hoping to return to the lineup on Sunday when the Flyers take on the Senators.

The 39-year-old was expected to be out 7-10 days after injuring his groin at the Winter Classic, but appears to be on track for an early return. He sat out last night’s wild 5-4 win over Chicago — a game in which his (occasional) replacement, James van Riemsdyk, scored twice — and won’t play on Saturday, the first of a home-and-home against Ottawa. But a Sunday return would mean Jagr only missed five days of action, a positive sign for the NHL’s fourth-oldest player.

Jagr’s injury could end up being a blessing for the Flyers as van Riemsdyk thrived in an expanded role against the ‘Hawks. That could provide the necessary kickstart to his season — JVR’s been inconsistent this year after lighting up last year’s playoffs with seven goals in 11 games.

“JVR was good,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was his best game. I think the fact that he was skating to be physical, he was banging bodies. I think this is a game he can use to get excited about, go into the next game and build off it.”