Posted November 04, 2011 on AP on Fox
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The Philadelphia Flyers are happy they won't be seeing Jeff Carter go up against them with the Columbus Blue Jackets. They would probably like to see James van Riemsdyk and Matt Read return to action, however. The Flyers could get those wingers back Saturday night when they try to hand the lowly Blue Jackets a 12th straight road loss. Carter will miss his ninth straight game with a hairline crack on the top of his right foot. He was acquired by Columbus (2-10-1) in June after leading Philadelphia (7-4-2) in goals each of the last three seasons, helping the club reach the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. "No, it's a good thing for us if they don't have one of their best players in the lineup," center Danny Briere told the Flyers' official website. "Knowing (Carter) would come back here and playing against his old team, he would be a little extra fired up, so if he's not in the lineup it's a plus for us." Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren shook up his roster partly to help team chemistry. Carter and departed captain Mike Richards had earned a reputation of having distaste for the demanding Philadelphia media. The Flyers are off to a decent start without them thanks in part to Claude Giroux, who is among the NHL leaders with 17 points. Newcomer Jaromir Jagr has also contributed, posting five goals and four assists during his current six-game point streak. Giroux and Jagr, though, could again be without one of their most talented teammates after van Riemsdyk sat out Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to New Jersey with a lower-body injury. Read, off to a strong start as a rookie with seven points in 11 games, has missed the last two contests with an upper-body injury. Van Riemsdyk and Read could both return Friday, but defenseman Chris Pronger remains out with blurred vision. One Flyer looking forward to this contest is Jakub Voracek, who was acquired from Columbus in the Carter deal. Voracek turned in three nondescript seasons after being drafted seventh overall by the Blue Jackets in 2007, and admitted that he has marked this game on his calendar. "Obviously I've been looking forward to this game since the season started," said Voracek, who has gone a season-high three straight games without a point. "I'm going to do everything I can to help this team win and show them they made a mistake." New Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov could return to the crease after Sergei Bobrovsky started against the Devils in Philadelphia's second game in as many days. Bryzgalov is 9-5-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average against Columbus. The Blue Jackets will likely stick with the struggling Steve Mason, who was pulled after giving up four goals on 11 shots in Thursday's 4-1 home loss to Toronto. Columbus finished with a 39-18 edge in shots on goal but managed only Ryan Johansen's second-period tally. "That's just something we've been hit with all year long," coach Scott Arniel said. "We've created chances, we've had quality opportunities." The Blue Jackets are the only NHL team yet to gain at least one point on the road. They are 0-6-0, and 0-9-2 since a 5-4 win in Minnesota on March 19. Columbus is near the bottom of the league on the power play (9.5 percent) and penalty kill (72.7). Philadelphia owns three wins and a tie in four home games against Columbus.
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