Pronger likely to make season debut

Chris Pronger will be a game-time decision for tonight's home opener. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

Sergei Bobrovsky may have some extra help in front of him tonight, when he makes his home debut at the Wells Fargo Center on the night the Flyers will raise their Eastern Conference championship banner to the rafters.

All signs point to Chris Pronger, who missed the Flyers’ first two games of the season while rehabbing offseason right knee surgery, returning to the lineup tonight. The club officially said he will be a game-time decision.

In Monday’s brief morning skate, Pronger skated on a regular pairing with usual partner Matt Carle, while Oskars Bartulis and Matt Walker were paired together.

Walker sat out both games as a healthy scratch.

In addition, Bartulis, Walker and Andreas Nodl skated approximately 20 minutes longer than the Flyers’ regulars, the usual tell-all for scratches in a pre-game skate.

Pronger – who has dictated his own terms on when he will return to the ice – was not available to the media. Coach Peter Laviolette said he “did not have an answer yet” as to whether Pronger would play or not.

Laviolette said he wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort in the first two contests.

“Defensively, in our end, it seems like we’re giving up the middle of the ice a little bit too much,” Laviolette said. “They were different scenarios from the first two games. In the first game, I thought we turned the puck over too much, which put us on our heels coming back into our end.

“In the St. Louis game, I thought maybe we just got ‘out-jumped’ too much, they were maybe a little bit quicker. We did a little bit of a better job in the one-on-one battles. But the amount of chances we’ve given up needs to be tightened up.”

Laviolette said after the Flyers’ first game that he, too, could notice a difference without Pronger.
In many ways, Colorado presents the same challenge as St. Louis did on Saturday. Both teams are young and fast.

“Colorado is fast, they’ve got good, young skill and they’re going to be a really tough test for us,” Laviolette said.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, Colorado will dress Phillipe Dupuis for the first time this season on the fourth line. Mark Olver will be scratched. Otherwise, Colorado is going with the same lineup that produced a 4-3 overtime win against Chicago on Thursday night, which includes Craig Anderson in net. The 'Lanche will be trying to take down both of last year's Stanley Cup Final participants in consecutive games.

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