Boucher to face depleted Kings; Gretzky returning to L.A.?

Flyers' goalie Brian Boucher stops the puck in the third period against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 25. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

  LOS ANGELES - Flyers coach John Stevens, who guards his goalie decision like it's a state secret, has decided to give Brian Boucher his second straight of the season tonight in Los Angeles.

   Boucher will be facing a Kings attack that will be depleted because left winger Ryan Smyth is out for four weeks with an upper-body injury.

   Smyth (9 goals, 14 assists) had been playing on the NHL's most productive line, along with Anze Kopitar (14 goals, 18 assists) and former Flyer Justin Williams (5 goals, 10 assists).

    The Kings will also be without injured defenseman Rob Scuderi.

    Boucher is 0-1 with a 4.00 goals against average and .857 save percentage.

   The Flyers, who have won six of their last seven, begin a five-game road trup tonight.

   In a another matter, Kings coach Terry Murray revealed that Los Angeles is trying to lure Wayne Gretzky back to the organization "in whatever capacity." Murray, a former Flyers coach and assistant, said Gretzky would be valuable in helping the players in shoot-outs "and you're talking about 14 or 15 more points" that can be obtained.

   Notes. Defenseman Oskars Bartulis will start on the third defensive pairing again tonight......Stevens said Emery will start Friday in San Jose and that he was undecided on Saturday's starter in Phoenix. In other words, if Boucher plays well tonight, he probably will start Saturday.....Matt Carle leads the NHL with a plus-17 rating......Tonight is just the Flyers' sixth road game.