PITTSBURGH - Sean Couturier returned to the Flyers lineup Thursday against streaking Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center.
The rookie center had been sidelined since teammate Kimmo Timonen's slap shot hit him near his left ear Dec. 17 against Boston. Couturier said that he originally lost most of his hearing in the ear, but that it was almost back to normal.
"I haven't had any headaches or any bad symptoms. I feel great," Couturier said before the game.
Couturier, who missed four games, was on a few different lines in the opening period and was used on the penalty kill. He had an assist on the Flyers' third goal.
The scratches: Zac Rinaldo, Jody Shelley, and Matt Walker.
Erik Gustafsson (wrist) still is not ready to return.
Jaromir Jagr, the usually gregarious Flyers winger who won five scoring titles with the Penguins and helped them win their first two Stanley Cups, was agitated during a Wednesday news conference. He admitted on Thursday that he was upset with how the Pittsburgh media has portrayed him.
"Maybe I overreacted. I'm just not happy with some of the media here," he said after Thursday's morning skate. "They make up everything. That was the problem. That's when they start everything, and it's tough to control."
Among the things that apparently upset Jagr were reports he had agreed to return to Pittsburgh before signing with the Flyers.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette started Jagr and Max Talbot - two former Penguins - on a line with Claude Giroux.
Talbot, who scored both goals in the Penguins' Stanley Cup-clinching win over Detroit in 2009, received a standing ovation as video highlights of his Pittsburgh career were shown on the scoreboard during a first-period stoppage. Talbot waved to the crowd from the bench.
Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky, who had a 3-0 lifetime record in Pittsburgh, started Thursday. Bobrovsky took a 7-2-1 record into the game, along with a 2.57 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
Ilya Bryzgalov is 14-8-3 with a 3.01 GAA and .890 save percentage, and he has lost four straight.
Laviolette wouldn't address the issue when asked if Bobrovsky's performance Thursday would affect his decision on the Winter Classic starter.
The Claddagh Fund Philadelphia will hold a skate at Citizens Bank Park on Jan. 8. Registration opens at 2 p.m. at McFadden's, and the ice is available from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. The event is open to 200 skaters, and there will be a reception at McFadden's with live music, a silent auction, and raffles. Tickets are available at www.CladdaghFund.org/skate. General admission is $75.
The Claddagh Fund, a foundation of the Dropkick Murphys, raises money for nonprofit organizations that support vulnerable populations.