Pronger's time limited in return from injury

Pronger
Pronger
Posted: April 25, 2011

BUFFALO - The day began for the Flyers with a Mystery Daily Double: 1) Who would play goaltender and, 2) Would Chris Pronger take the ice for the first time in the series?

The correct responses, as we now know, are: 1) Everyone, and 2) Sort of.

It was a limited role for Pronger in the Flyers' Game 6 victory over the Sabres, only five shifts, all on the power play. He took two shots, one of which missed the net. His total ice time was 4 minutes, 33 seconds.

Along the way, Pronger was called for a slashing penalty while fencing with Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers in the crease in the first period. He was in the penalty box for the Sabres' third goal. Still, in general, a moribund power play looked better with him in the game. Pronger was on the ice for the Flyers' third power-play goal of the series, by Danny Briere in the second period.

"If I didn't think I could help, I wouldn't have played," Pronger said. "There's not much really more to say about that. It is what it is. Obviously, talking with the coaching staff and Homer [general manager Paul Holmgren] about it, we came to that decision today."

Pronger last played on March 8, and has since undergone surgery to repair a broken hand. Even with him in the lineup, the Flyers dressed six other defensemen, including Danny Syvret, who played only 6:08. The biggest minutes in the game among the Flyers went to Andrej Meszaros (31:03), Braydon Coburn (26:27) and Matt Carle (26:09).

Pronger was mostly a spectator, then, during the Flyers' comeback from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 to win the game in overtime and force a Game 7.

"Chris is a presence in the room and a presence to our team, but that doesn't win five-on-five hockey - so I do not want to sell short the effort of the players that went out there and played on a regular shift," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "But to have him back in the lineup is a boost and the power play was a boost. He was out there and made plays that only Chris Pronger can make.

"It was good to get him back in that sense, but that [only] takes you so far. There was a lot of work that was done by a lot of guys that didn't want to give in today."

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