Flyers Notes: Hartnell makes an early return

Flyers Notes: Hartnell makes an early return
February 24, 2013, 9:00 am
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Scott Hartnell wanted to make his comeback on Thursday night when the Flyers lost to the Florida Panthers.
 
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette weren’t sure.
 
“Talking with Homer and Lavy, it was probably better to give it a couple more days,” said the big left winger, who made his grand reappearance in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
 
Hartnell logged 14:54 ice time playing on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. He had missed 16 games with a fracture in his left foot.
 
When he did he know he would return?
 
 “A couple days,” Hartnell said. “I kind of kept things under the radar. I think the last couple of days I skated with the Phantoms … we kind of decided to come back Saturday would be a good time.
 
“It’s how I felt on the ice and I felt pretty good. Tonight was a lot getting used to the speed of the game again, and I was a little rusty, but it was a big win.
 
“I don’t know if the guys needed a boost or a mental boost, but just being in the room, it’s the one thing I probably miss the most.
 
“Watching the games on TV, you don’t get to be a part of it and help the guys and get them lose and focused. I was pretty excited to wake up this morning, have a nice breakfast and get here and play.”
 
Recall the Flyers said as late as Thursday that Hartnell was at least a week away from playing. Then Matt Read goes out with a rib cage injury and suddenly Hartnell comes back.
 
Did Read’s injury expedite Hartnell's return?
 
“I don’t think so,” Hartnell said. “They were playing so good together. I wanted to help the team and get back there and get focused and get ready.
 
“Tonight was a big comeback win for us, too -- being down 3-2 going into the third. Us working hard for the power plays that we got and the guys burying on it. Everyone was happy, and it’s a huge, huge two points for us.”
 
Rinaldo’s role
Zac Rinaldo had a whopping 12 hits and an empty net goal just as the buzzer sounded.
 
Which was better?
 
“I like the 12 hits honestly,” Rinaldo smiled. “The more minutes I get, the more hits I’ll get, the more opportunities I’ll get and just keep going.” 
 
He was very candid, as well, about the Flyers' poor start where they were out-shot, 12-1.
 
“We were embarrassed more than anything,” he said.  “It was an embarrassment.  Especially being at home.  We have to get these wins at home and we did just that tonight.”
 
It took a while for his goal to be posted when the game ended.
 
“I didn’t even think I got it,” Rinaldo said.  “They told me after the game – I was sitting in my stall – and they told me I got it so I wasn’t even too concerned about it. I was just happy that we won.”  
Bryzgalov’s status
After admitting on radio on Friday that he was “exhausted” after playing 17 of the Flyers first 19 games, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said he felt a little better Saturday. He had 35 saves in the win.
 
Do you think the reason you didn’t have a day off is because this team is pretty desperate for points?
 
“It’s not my decision,” he replied.
 
Did you want a day off?
 
“I’ve got tomorrow,” he smiled.

Briere’s mouth
Danny Briere suffered a cut mouth in the second period and was limited to just 6:52 ice time through two periods and only 8:43 overall.

“I was fine,” he said. “Cut in the mouth a little bit.”
 
A high-stick from Dustin Byfuglien clipped him at 13:22 of the second period.
 
Loose pucks
There were two fights in the opening period and both were draws with a lot of wild swings and misses. Wayne Simmonds took on Chris Thorburn before a Luke Schenn-Evander Kane bout later on. … Winnipeg went the final 9:47 of the first period without a shot, while the Flyers ripped off 16 over that span. ... The Flyers could get to the eighth seed depending on what Rangers and Lightning do later Saturday night. ... Winnipeg, on a five-game road trip, came into town having won two straight. … This was also the fifth time in the past six games the Flyers gave up the first goal. ... The Flyers' power play went 3 for 6 after the team came into the game 3 for 16 over its previous four games.