Briere out vs. Penguins with upper-body injury

Briere out vs. Penguins with upper-body injury

March 24, 2013, 1:00 pm

PITTSBURGH – All those competitive battles the Flyers staged over three days of hard practice found a casualty.
 
Danny Briere will not play Sunday night against the streaking Penguins with an upper-body injury. Harry Zolnierczyk is expected to take Briere’s spot in the lineup.
 
Briere was not on the team charter to Pittsburgh late Saturday afternoon. General manager Paul Holmgren said he was injured in Saturday's practice.
 
“It’s brutal,” Wayne Simmonds said. “We had a few days of battle practice and it cost us Danny. But it is hockey. Everything is physical about this sport. Things like that happen.”
 
Briere hasn’t scored in 13 games but he would have been Max Talbot’s line with Scott Hartnell.
 
“Danny’s a guy you want in the lineup, especially, against Pittsburgh,” Simon Gagne said. “He’s had a lot of success against them in past year.
 
“I guess it’s just the way things have gone this year. It’s not getting easier. You’re almost not surprised to see stuff like this happen."
 
The Flyers have been hit hard with injuries all season and only recently fielded a completely-healthy roster.
 
Pittsburgh won’t have Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) or Kris Letang (knee).
 
“I don’t know if it really evens out,” Simmonds said. “I don’t mean it like that. Guys come into the lineup and step it up and fill it out by committee.”
 
The Penguins are trying to become the first team this season to win 12 games in succession.
 
The Flyers are trying to mount some kind of run to earn a playoff spot. They remain five points out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
 
Losing a veteran player right now given the team is desperate for points is bad timing.
 
“A couple lines get affected with what we’re doing,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Certainly we would rather have healthy bodies in there but that is not the case. We’ve dealt with this before in the past and we’ll make adjustments.
 
“It doesn’t change the expectations or the week of work we had in practice. What we worked on or try to accomplish.”