James van Riemsdyk was looking for a break.

He didn't get one in the sense that there was no break - or no fracture - in Andreas Nodl's left big toe, but he did get one in that Nodl needed 1 more day to rest last night. Van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup for the first time after sitting out as a healthy scratch for the last four games.

"I'd like to get some more bounces," he said last week during the Flyers' road trip. "Sometimes it's as lucky as the puck hitting you in front of the net."

Or, sometimes it's as unlucky as a shot hitting the post. Van Riemsdyk, searching for his first goal of the season in 14 contests, rang a shot off the post less than 1 minute into the second period of last night's 5-1 win over Ottawa. He played 16:15, had two shots, four hits and no points.

He is mired in a 14-game scoreless streak - tied for the longest of his career. Van Riemsdyk went through 14-, 12- and 10-game droughts last season as a rookie.

Nodl, meanwhile, is riding a four-game point streak. He has three goals and three assists in just nine games, after posting five points in his first 48 career NHL games.

"I hate this," Nodl said yesterday morning. "I am feeling good on the ice. I hate getting injured and not playing. It sucks. It's gotten a lot better but it's still sore."


It was mistakenly reported in Thursday's Daily News that Peter Laviolette would be coaching one squad in the Jan. 30 All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C., as the Flyers won the Eastern Conference last year.

Instead, the coach with the highest winning percentage in early January will represent the conference.