Briere returning; JVR speaks

Danny Briere will return to the lineup tonight against the Islanders. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

After missing six games because of a concussion, Flyers center Danny Briere will return to the lineup Tuesday against the visiting Islanders.

Winger James van Riemsdyk spoke Tuesday for the first time since suffering a concussion and said he is still dealing with headaches.

Ilya Bryzgalov (19-11-5, 2.86 GAA, .899 save percentage) will start against the Isles, who will go with Evgeni Nabokov (11-12, 2.31, .920).

Briere, who has 13 goals and 17 assists, suffered a concussion Jan. 21 during a 4-1 win in New Jersey.

“Hopefully I can provide a little spark,” Briere said after taking part in Tuesday’s morning skate. “It’s been a little tough since the break, especially at home. I don’t like our record at home; it’s something we want to improve. Hopefully, I can come in and help in that department.”

Overall, the Flyers are 12-8-4 at home.

Briere, 34, said the decision to return was “all up to me” and that he cleared a baseline test last week. The decision was made after he woke up without any symptoms following a practice Monday in which he absorbed contact.

“It’s good to get Danny back in the lineup because it adds more depth and balance to our attack up front,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It makes it a little more difficult (for opponents) to focus on one player or one line.”

As for van Riemsdyk, he said he was making small strides in his recovery.

“Some days are better than others, but not the way I want to feel,” van Riemsdyk said. “I’m just trying to take it day by day, and that’s really all I can do.”

Like Briere a couple weeks ago, van Riemsdyk said there have been days when he has felt in a fog.

“It’s definitely one of those things where you have to stay in the moment, stay positive and let the body heal itself up.”

He said he didn’t talk to the media until Tuesday because his symptoms were changing daily. The left winger said he didn’t want to “place expectations on when I want to be back. I just want to heal and be good” to go.

Added JVR: "I guess if I do look at now vs. when I first started (rehabbing), I do feel a little bit better, so that's obviously encouraging, but it's been a slow process. Hopefully, it starts to progress."

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Here is how the lines may look tonight:

Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr; Read-Briere-Voracek; Talbot-Schenn-Simmonds; Sestito-Couturier-Rinaldo.

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Breakaways. Milan Jurcina, one of the Isles' top-hitting defensemen, will miss the game with a lacerated elbow.....The Isles are 10-11-3 on the road, including a 4-1 win over the Flyers last month.