NEW YORK - It looks as though veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja will play his first game of the season tonight when the Flyers face the Rangers.
Lilja had a long offseason of rehabbing for his injured hip. The only action he had during the lockout involved a couple of conditioning games with the Phantoms.
He was called up on Jan. 25 after Andrej Meszaros suffered a left shoulder injury against the Rangers that is going to sideline him a while.
Lilja worked the entire morning skate with Bruno Gervais.
Kurtis Foster, who was scratched two games recently -- one when he was healthy -- worked by himself, a good indication he is out.
“I don’t know if I’m playing yet,” Lilja said. “If I am, I’m really excited.”
The 37-year-old Swede hasn’t played an NHL game since Game 4 of the New Jersey playoff series last May.
“Everybody else was in the same seat,” he said of his lockout rehab at Skate Zone. “Guys waiting for the lockout to end. I don’t think it was a disadvantage.”
Gervais is the mobile half of that unit.
“I haven’t played with him but he’s a good player," Lilja said of Gervais. "There should not be any problems. And the [right-hand shot], makes the D-to-D [pass] real easy.”
Zac Rinaldo (skate cut) looked like he was ready to play tonight but said he wasn’t sure he was 100 percent and it would be a game-time decision. At the end of the skate, he switched jerseys. “The last couple of days, I have been feeling all right on the ice, but I’m still not sure yet,” he said.” Hunch says Rinaldo plays. ... Tommy Sestito appears to be in, as well, on that line with Ruslan Fedotenko. Which means Tye McGinn, who has played very well, is a likely scratch. Coach Peter Laviolette said he thought Rinaldo was “moving well” on the ice. As for McGinn: “Tye has done a nice job since he’s been here but I haven’t announced any lineups. He’s been impressive at practice and in games. There are always lineup decisions and they aren’t taken lightly.”