NEW YORK – Even though the Flyers lost on Friday night for just the fifth time since the calendar turned to 2011, they were fortunate that most of the damage was limited to the scoreboard.
They’re likely going to be without their best penalty killer, Blair Betts, for Sunday’s matinee at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers – but it doesn’t sound like he will be out for a while.
The tip of Betts’ right ring finger exploded with a pressure cut when he blocked a shot during a key 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period on Friday night.
“Blair is highly unlikely for tomorrow,” general manager Paul Holmgren said.
Betts was stitched up on Friday night and was re-evaluated on Saturday. He called it “a pretty good cut” on Friday.
The Flyers may have their captain, Mike Richards, back on Sunday after he missed his first game since Feb. 8, 2009 because of a stomach virus.
Richards was kept off the ice of the team’s practice on Saturday afternoon in Newark, N.J., and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.
“Mike is feeling much better,” Holmgren said. “We will not know on him until the morning.”
The Flyers do not need to make any call-ups from Adirondack, as Nik Zherdev was a healthy scratch on Friday and Jody Shelley was re-inserted in the lineup when Richards was scratched. Oskars Bartulis is also healthy on defense.
The Rangers, just 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, have fallen a full 15 points behind the Flyers in the Atlantic division. The Flyers are 3-0-0 against New York this season. Sunday’s game is part of Hockey Day in America, which features four regional telecasts on NBC.
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