Carcillo, Nodl getting a chance for Flyers

Posted: April 14, 2011

They are far from marquee players, but wingers Dan Carcillo and Andreas Nodl are being given a chance to make an impact in the Flyers' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Buffalo.

"I just have to keep doing what I'm doing - playing solid defensively and getting under the other team's skin by finishing my hits," Nodl said before Thursday's series opener.

Earlier in the day, a comment from a Buffalo reporter amused Carcillo after the morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center.

The winger was told that, according to Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, he indirectly sparked the Sabres to their 4-3 overtime win over the Flyers April 7 by mockingly tapping Nathan Gerbe on the helmet during a scrum.

Gerbe, who stands 5-foot-5, later scored on a spectacular third-period spin-o-rama shot to tie the score at 3.

"I don't know how patting someone on the head sparks a team," Carcillo said with a slight grin. "The kid made a nice move and got lucky - and it went off [Danny] Syvret's stick" and into the net. "So it is what it is."

Gerbe, a hard-nosed player who has had a solid rookie season (16 goals), shrugged off the incident, saying he has heard about his size "from Day 1 of my life. It's something I've lived with and rolled with, and other players in the league have, too."

As for Carcillo, he will be doing more than patting opponents' helmets in this best-of-seven tug-of-war.

"It's different hockey," Carcillo said after the morning skate, referring to the playoffs. "If you watched the games [Wednesday], teams are throwing 45, 50 hits each. It's when the boys go away, and the men kind of step up and play hard. There's no fighting . . . and some kind of relish that role because they don't have to back things up."

Carcillo, never one to back away from a scrap, was in the Flyers lineup Thursday because of the energy he creates with his feisty play. Nodl was playing because of his physical style and his attention to defense.

The odd man out was Nik Zherdev, who played well down the stretch but isn't as strong defensively as Nodl.

Carcillo was on a line with Blair Betts and Darroll Powe.

Besides fighting, "I think Danny brings other elements. He's a hitter. He agitates and irritates," coach Peter Laviolette said. "I thought their line that last couple of games did a pretty good job of cycling the puck in the offensive zone and killing time and playing physical on the forecheck."

The Flyers are hoping to wear down Buffalo with the physical play provided by Carcillo, Nodl, and others. During the regular season, the Flyers were third in the league with 1,905 hits, while the Sabres were last - 30th - with 1,505.

Nodl, who was on a line with Mike Richards and Kris Versteeg on Thursday, made his mark in 10 playoff games last spring.

"Those games are the reason I'm here right now," he said. "I got to show the organization I can play in pressure situations."

Pronger sits

As expected, Chris Pronger was sidelined Thursday because his broken right hand still isn't ready to take shots. The Flyers listed him as day-to-day, but he is doubtful for Saturday.

Laviolette said the Flyers would go about "business as usual" without their defensive leader.

"We haven't had Chris for I don't know how long - 15 games, 18 games, whatever it is," he said. "Everybody wishes he was here, but he's not, and that's part of the business."

Pronger missed the last 16 games, during which the Flyers went 6-4-6.

Syvret was in the lineup instead of the former NHL MVP.


Laviolette was asked if Buffalo played differently than it did in 2006, when it lost to his Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs. "Sometimes I have a hard time remembering what I had for breakfast in the morning, so if you want to go back to 2006 . . . [forget it]," he said. . . . Ruff on returning to Philadelphia for a playoff series: "I miss Hitch." He was referring, of course, to former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock, who Ruff said directed his 2006 team to play "like idiots."


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