Bryz returning for Flyers tonight; Briere out

Since dropping a decision to the Flyers, the Islanders have moved closer to their first playoff spot in six years. (Matt Slocum/AP)

After getting a one-game break, Ilya Bryzgalov will return to the net Thursday night as the Flyers host slumping Ottawa.

Bryzgalov will make his 23d start in the last 24 games.

Ottawa has lost five straight and is trying to hold onto an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The Flyers are seven points out of eighth, and their playoff hopes are on life support; they have nine games left.

"There's still hope. We're just going to take this a game at a time," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "You look at the tracker and everybody has to play everybody, so you never really know what can happen. You just take care of your games and continue with your chances."

Those chances have almost disappeared after losing 4-1 decisions to Winnipeg and the Islanders in the last two games.

Holmgren was hopeful Danny Briere would return to the lineup Thursday, but that won't happen. Briere will miss his 10th straight game because of a concussion.

He could play Saturday afternoon in Buffalo.

After working out on the ice in Voorhees Thursday, Briere talked about the Flyers possibly using an amnesty buyout on him after the season.

"I can't control if they decide to buy me out, but this is where I want to be at this point," he told reporters.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.