Justin Braun is back in business.
The Flyers’ defenseman missed six games with a groin strain but was scheduled to return to the line-up for Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
“He’s been skating for the past week, skating well,’’ coach Alain Vigneault said. “The doctors cleared him after our last game. This morning said he was good to go.’’
Braun has played in 42 games with 10 points and a minus-10.
>Looking for revenge
The Flyers struggled throughout their holiday road trip (1-4-1) and one particularly tough loss came at Los Angeles, where they got off to a tough start and eventually lost 5-3.
So the Flyers were looking for a little revenge over that defeat on New Year’s Eve in California.
“We were chasing the game,’’ Vigneault said. “I think if my memory is right, in the last 25 minutes of that game we didn’t give them a chance five on five.
“I think we gave them a power-play goal when we were struggling a bit on our penalty kill. But that’s behind us. We have two games (including Tuesday night’s home game against Pittsburgh) before the break, we need to focus on that, on playing well and bouncing back after a sloppy performance (vs. Montreal, a 4-1 loss).’’
>Break not completely welcome
After Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh, the Flyers essentially are off for eight days before they resume practice on Jan. 30. That’s due to a combination of the “furlough/bye break’’ and the NHL All-Star Game coming up next weekend.
“I don’t know how that got into the game,’’ Vigneault said. “It makes the rest of the schedule so condensed. When you come back from St. Louis (last Wednesday), it’s a two-hour flight and you lose an hour (time zone change) so it’s a three-hour trip.
“Getting in bed at 3 in the morning, not 1 in the morning, it’s not the same thing. And it’s not the game energy level.’’
The Flyers had to play Montreal the next night and didn’t seem to have much life in their game.
“You want to put a good product on the ice,’’ Vigneault said. “I don’t know how this all happened. Before, we had three or four days during the All-Star break.
“But I think we’re going to look at this in a positive fashion, in a sense that people are going to get a chance to recover, re-energize, have one quick practice. Hopefully the players use the break to re-energize but maybe touch the ice once or twice in the break.’’
>Valentine’s card for a hero
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Major and World War II hero Bill White asked the public for Valentine’s Day cards this year and the Flyers were more than happy to accommodate him.
Every member of the team plus general manager Chuck Fletcher and the entire coaching staff signed a card for White, who is 104 years old.
White was awarded the Purple Heart medal after leading the Marines under heavy Japanese fire during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.