Scott Hartnell returns to Flyers lineup vs. Jets

Scott Hartnell returns to Flyers lineup vs. Jets
February 23, 2013, 11:15 am
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Some recoveries are quicker than others when you apply the new math of the Flyers.
Scott Hartnell is back in the lineup Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. Just a few days ago in Pittsburgh, general manager Paul Holmgren estimated he’d return within seven to 10 days.
On Thursday that became five to seven while the Flyers got thumped 5-2 by the Florida Panthers.
Those days flew by, no doubt influenced by the fact the Flyers are in desperation mode, needing points to get into playoff position, and lacking productive wingers given Matt Read’s absence for about six weeks with a rib cage injury.
“Scott says he feels good enough to play,” Laviolette said.
Hartnell, coming off fracture in his left foot, has not practiced with the team. He was injured in a 3-0 loss at New Jersey on Jan. 22 and missed 16 games.
To put that missed time in perspective, Hartnell had missed only three regular season games in his previous five years as a Flyer.
“Hartsy is a big part of it but we haven’t had a practice with him yet, so it will be good to get him back on the ice in a game and get him moving forward,” Laviolette said.
“It’s been a long time without him. Certainly we could benefit with him in the lineup. He brings a lot to the table.”
Laviolette would not say what line he is on, but you’d have to expect he’ll get some time with the top line of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
Laviolette said his ice time will be carefully monitored.
“He’s a big body who is capable of scoring goals and was our leading goal scorer last year,” Laviolette said.
“We’re going to have to monitor his minutes. Hopefully, he scores three goals and gets 10 hits. But I want to see how he is doing in the game, as well. It is his first game back. There is always a little bit of rust you try to shake off. We’ll see how he does.”
The top line has changed continually this season because of injuries to Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Read.

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