Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/3/14
The Philadelphia Flyers will have one of their most important players back in the lineup when defenseman Kimmo Timonen returns Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Timonen sat out Philadelphia's 1-0 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday with an upper-body injury after being hit in the chin by a puck in their shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. "It's always good to have him," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "He's a great player, a very good player for us. Power play, penalty kill, 5-on-5. He's a very good player, so when he's out of the lineup we miss him." Timonen, 39, is second among Philadelphia defensemen with 32 points in 71 games, but in 14 games since the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics he has three goals and 10 assists. "I like this time of year," Timonen said. "The sun is up. We get right into playoff mode, every game matters. It's easier coming to the rink when you know you have to play your best. Especially after the Olympics. I knew there were tough games coming up and it was a tough schedule. Anytime it gets under 20 games it's really easy to play." Also returning to the Flyers' lineup will be goalie Steve Mason, who starts against the Blue Jackets on the one-year anniversary of Columbus trading him to Philadelphia. The Flyers will be looking to rebound from back-to-back shootout losses, and with a four-point lead on the Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division know they can pad that cushion with a strong effort Thursday. "They're right on the same side as us," Berube said. "The three games we've had with them this year were very tough games. They're a very good team over there, they work really hard, young guys, enthusiastic. They play a tough game."
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