At first, Berube said, "We'll see how the team is going" when asked whether it would be a difficult decision to reinsert Downie when he is ready. The coach then added: "There are always decisions to make with the lineup, but he's going to be a part of it. He will be a part of it."
Downie, who turned 27 Thursday, has had his share of undisciplined moments this season, but Berube liked the way he was playing before he was hurt. "Since the Olympic break, his game has improved dramatically," Berube said. "I know he took some penalties, but he's playing on the edge and he has to play that way."
As expected, Kimmo Timonen returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's 1-0 shootout loss in St. Louis. The Flyers said Timonen missed the game because of an upper-body injury - he took a puck to the chin in his previous game - but the defenseman said he didn't make the trip because he had a virus.
Defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Nick Grossmann played Thursday despite foot injuries. MacDonald was limping badly before the game.
For the first time since he was dealt to Columbus after the 2011-12 season, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky faced the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Bobrovsky, who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender last season, said he was excited to return to Philadelphia, but his motivation was the tight playoff race - and not to prove that the Flyers were wrong for trading him.
The 25-year-old Russian said that he had "great years" with the Flyers and that he "really appreciated" his time here.
"This is a special game, a special feeling, definitely," Bobrovsky said after the morning skate.