Saturday, February 6, 2016

Carter to play; Pronger scratched

BOSTON -- Flyers center Jeff Carter will play in tonight's crucial Game 3 against the Bruins in Boston, but injured defenseman Chris Pronger will not.

Carter to play; Pronger scratched

"My role on the team is to put the puck in the net," Jeff Carter said - but he hasn´t done so lately. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
"My role on the team is to put the puck in the net," Jeff Carter said - but he hasn't done so lately. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

BOSTON -- Flyers center Jeff Carter will play in tonight's crucial Game 3 against the Bruins in Boston, but injured defenseman Chris Pronger will not.

Carter skated this morning with the team and it was announced he would be a game-time decision.

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Jeff Carter skated for approximately 20 minutes at the Flyers' pre-game skate at TD Garden before tonight's Game 3, nearly doubling the length of time he spent on ice alone on Tuesday.

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Carter, the Flyers' leading goal scorer during the regular season, said he "didn't know" about his availability for tonight's game. Officially, the Flyers upgraded Carter's injury status from day-to-day to game-time decision, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Carter did recognize, however, the added urgency to try to test his right knee since his team is already in a two-game hole against the Bruins. He hurt his knee after awkwardly colliding with Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers in Game 4 of the first round on April 20.

Today, Carter was one of the first Flyers off the ice at the morning skate. He appeared to be cautiously testing the knee when he first entered the ice, but seemed to do more and more as participated in a few drills.

"He's been our leading scorer the past couple years," Claude Giroux said. "It would be great to have him."

Carter could possibly test his knee in a limited role for the Flyers, as Chris Pronger did in Game 6 of the first round against Buffalo with his fractured right hand. If Carter were to return, he could give the Flyers the scoring boost they've desperately needed - and would help fill out their three lines to make them a tougher team to defend again.

Still, coach Peter Laviolette wasn't ready to throw out any hypothetical hints to the Bruins on Wednesday morning.

"I think I am going to pass on all theoretical questions this morning," Laviolette said. "Jeff Carter looked good this morning."

The official word from Flyers is that all other injured players, including Pronger, Andreas Nodl (eye) and Michael Leighton (back), are on day-to-day timetables.

For the first time on Wednesday, the Flyers called Pronger's injury a lower-body injury. It is believed to be a hamstring strain. Pronger did not skate with the Flyers today and a return to the lineup does not appear imminent.

Daily News sports columnist Rich Hofmann contributed to this report.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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Daily News Staff Writer
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