DALLAS - Can a pretty shootout goal get a player untracked?
The Flyers are hoping that's the case with struggling winger James van Riemsdyk, who scored Monday on a clever shootout move against Colorado's J.S. Giguere.
"He's the type of guy who can maybe pick off on something like that and maybe send it in a different direction," coach Peter Laviolette said before Wednesday's game in Dallas. "When the playoffs rolled around [last season], he had a stretch of games where he was dominant, so we know where the level of the bar is, and we need to push him back to that."
Van Riemsdyk's overall totals are respectable - eight goals and 10 assists in his 27 games - but he entered Wednesday goalless in his last eight games and had not scored in the seven games since he returned from an injury.
"Just got to keep working hard, and the goals will come," van Riemsdyk said. ". . . It's been a little bit difficult coming back from different sorts of things and injuries."
Asked if he was 100 percent healthy, van Riemsdyk said: "I'm not getting into all that stuff. I don't think it's fair." He said it was a "slippery slope."
"I go out there every game and work as hard as I can, and that's all I really can do," he said.
Said Laviolette: "Nobody in that room is 100 percent healthy."
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is hoping rain doesn't affect the Jan. 2 Winter Classic.
"We'll have to wear swimming gear and Speedos," he said. "Rangers vs. Flyers [in] water polo!"
In their previous four games - all without Claude Giroux - the Flyers' power play was 1 for 17 (5.9 percent). In their 4-1 win over the Stars on Wednesday, they were 2 for 5. They entered Wednesday ninth in the 30-team league on the power play, clicking at 18.8 percent.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made his second start in the last 10 games. . . . Scott Hartnell entered Wednesday with 10 goals in his last 14 games. . . . Sean Couturier (head injury) and Brayden Schenn (concussion) did not skate in Voorhees Wednesday, GM Paul Holmgren said. . . . In a preview of the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park, the Flyers will play the Rangers Friday in Madison Square Garden. The Flyers will be trying to avenge a 2-0 loss in New York on Nov. 26. Jaromir Jagr was injured and did not play in that game against his former team. . . . CSN will televise the Dec. 31 Winter Classic alumni game and the Jan. 6 Phantoms-Hershey contest. . . . The second installment of HBO's 24/7 was shown Wednesday and will be available on demand. . . . A late goal, originally credited to Wayne Simmonds Monday in Colorado, was changed to Danny Briere's tally. Simmonds got it back with a first-period score in Dallas.