Richards sick, will play Game 1

Mike Richards missed practice Wednesday but will play in Game 1 Thursday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

THIS MORNING, Flyers forward Ian Laperriere and alumni Bob Kelly, Bernie Parent, Derian Hatcher and Joe Watson rung the opening bell at NASDAQ in New York City. They also dropped a ceremonial puck to signify the opening of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight. Video of their visit was broadcast live outside in Times Square, a mere 8 blocks from Madison Square Garden.


Stop the presses.

Mike Richards missed the Flyers’ practice on Wednesday, just one day before the Flyers are set to take on Buffalo in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers called it a “maintenance day,” albeit with strange timing considering the Flyers also skated on Monday and Tuesday.

General manager Paul Holmgren insisted that all of the Flyers’ other players, besides Chris Pronger, are healthy.

And then coach Peter Laviolette referred “all injuries” to Holmgren’s office when asked about Richards.

Sounds like the Flyers love drama, doesn’t it?

Turns out, Richards was at the Flyers’ Skate Zone on Wednesday but is suffering from a minor head cold, according to a text message sent to Comcast SportsNet’s Lisa Hillary. Richards undoubtedly will be fine to play against Buffalo on Thursday.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled Pronger programming…

Pronger skated briefly on Wednesday morning with the Flyers’ black aces – which include Erik Gustafsson, Kevin Marshall, Matt Walker, Mike Testwuide, and Eric Wellwood, among others – and took light passes but did not shoot the puck.

Most of the workout was centered on Pronger’s skating.

That makes Pronger officially doubtful for Game 1, as he has not taken part in practice with his teammates for more than two full weeks. Holmgren maintained the same “day-to-day” status for Pronger and said he will be a game-time decision.

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