Flyers fall to Blue Jackets in Columbus
Vinny Lecavalier picked up an assist and won 88 percent of his faceoffs in his first game back from a non-displaced back fracture. (USA Today Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- He felt great and wanted to play. So he did.
Vinny Lecavalier returned to the lineup for the Flyers’ 6-3 loss Saturday night to the Blue Jackets after missing nine games with a non-displaced fracture in his lower back (see story).
“I thought my legs would kind of tire because I didn’t skate much the last few weeks,” Lecavalier said. “But I felt good out there.”
Lecavalier picked up an assist on Sean Couturier’s goal that tied it at two in the second period, finished with 16:36 ice time and won 88 percent of his faceoffs -- 7 of 8.
He didn’t get hit in the back, which was heavily protected with rubber padding, either.
“It got really better that last three days,” Lecavalier said of his back. “Yesterday, I felt great and today, even better. They decided to put me in.”
Lecavalier said that even if Steve Downie (upper body injury) was healthy enough to play, he was ready to go. He had a chance to make a serious dent in the game, too.
The Flyers were behind, 3-2, early in the third period when Lecavalier momentarily had an open shot with the puck.
“It’s 2-0, we score two quick goals and it’s 2-2, they score, it’s 3-2,” Lecavalier said. “And then I get a golden opportunity -- an open net -- and [goalie Curtis McElhinney] made an unbelievable save. If I score, it’s 3-3 and a new game.”
Instead, a minute later, Boone Jenner made it 4-2 Blue Jackets with a screened tip-in shot on goalie Ray Emery, who had precious little shot-blocking help in the game.
“We might have gotten out of it with two points,” Lecavalier said. “It went the other way every time there was a turning point. We score two, I miss an unbelievable opportunity and they score right away. It was all about momentum, and it changed.”