Flyers Notes: With Pronger out, Flyers' power play is powerless

Posted: November 06, 2011

Flyers Notes

With Chris Pronger sidelined by an eye injury, the Flyers defense has struggled to clear the front of the net.

But there is another area that has suffered dramatically - the power play.

Entering Saturday night, the Flyers were 1 for 23 (4.3 percent) on the power play in the five games Pronger had missed. Before that, they were 11 for 40 (27.5 percent).

Pronger quarterbacks the power play from the point.

The Flyers have also missed Danny Briere, Matt Read, and James van Riemsdyk - all of whom man the power play - for some games because of injuries.

"I think there's no question when you start taking pieces out of there . . . you also lose that continuity and the practice time, and we haven't had a lot of that just based on the schedule," coach Peter Laviolette said before Saturday's game against Columbus.

The Flyers face a trip to Florida that includes several off days.

"We'll get back there and get back to work on it," Laviolette said. "I think that's really important, finding that quick puck movement and continuity with groups. We've just lost that because of the injuries."

Pronger took part in a morning skate Saturday for the first time since he suffered the injury. He said that his eye, not his conditioning, will determine when he returns, and that his eyesight is not quite 100 percent.

Best-case scenario: He returns to the lineup Wednesday against Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.

JVR returns

Van Riemsdyk, sidelined for one game with an apparent groin injury, returned to the lineup against the Blue Jackets. Andreas Nodl, however, missed the game with a lower-body injury, and Read sat out his third straight game with an unspecified injury.

Eric Wellwood made his season debut with the Flyers. He began the night on a line with Max Talbot and former Blue Jacket Jakub Voracek.

Jody Shelley was a healthy scratch.

Jackets' struggles

Columbus forward R.J. Umberger, a former Flyer, had just one goal in 13 games entering last night's matchup.

Columbus, which has played most of the season without injured center Jeff Carter, entered the night averaging just 2.23 goals per game, 24th in the 30-team NHL.

Before he was injured, Carter played in five games and had no goals and three assists.

The Jackets miss Carter "a lot," Umberger said. "We expect a lot from him. He's been on our first line, and I think one of our biggest problems so far has been goal scoring. A guy like him scores 30 to 40 goals, and we definitely could use him."

Carter, also a former Flyer, made the trip to visit with friends.

- Sam Carchidi

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