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Flyers Notes: Flyers' Grossmann effective in comeback

Defenseman Nick Grossmann, returning to the lineup after missing two games because of a concussion, was effective in a somewhat reduced role in the Flyers' 4-3 overtime win Sunday over New Jersey.

Defenseman Nick Grossmann, returning to the lineup after missing two games because of a concussion, was effective in a somewhat reduced role in the Flyers' 4-3 overtime win Sunday over New Jersey.

Grossmann had two hits and two blocked shots, and was plus-1 in 16 minutes, 26 seconds. He had averaged 20:50 per game in the first round.

After not playing for 11 days, Grossmann shook off the rust early in the opener of Sunday's conference semifinal.

"I felt good. It was nice to get back out there," Grossmann said after taking part in the team's optional skate Monday in Voorhees. "It took a couple of shifts to get going, but once the game went on, I felt better and better."

Grossmann, however, did not ease his way into the game.

"I tried to get a hit early and get into it," he said. "I tried to go at it right away, instead of testing it out or feeling it out. I'd rather jump in the fire right away, and it felt good."

As he gets his conditioning back, Grossmann is expected to get increased time in the series. He played about 10 fewer minutes than his defensive partner, Braydon Coburn, on Sunday.

Kovalchuk ailing?

Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who was tied for sixth in the NHL with 37 regular-season goals, went for a "therapy" session - believed to be treatment for his leg or lower back - on Monday, according to a team spokesman.

Kovalchuk had no shots and one assist in Sunday's opener.

When asked how he thought Kovalchuk played Sunday, New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer told Devils reporters: "I think the answer to that is pretty clear, pretty obvious."

DeBoer added that "it's never for a lack of effort with Kovy."

Briere rolling

Growing up, Flyers center Danny Briere said, he admired the way Patrick Roy and Claude Lemieux raised their level of play in the playoffs.

Briere was asked when it had sunk in that he now was among the big-time playoff performers.

"I don't really see myself in quite that category," he said. "Those guys that I mentioned all have Stanley Cups. Until you win, you can't be considered in that group."

Since he left Buffalo, Briere has 36 playoff goals; all the Sabres combined have 33 in that span.

Briere has 26 goals in his last 41 playoff games, including seven in seven games this season.

A Flyers fan suggested that there should be a Danny Briere hat trick to complement what has been called a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight). Briere scored three goals Sunday - but one was disallowed after a review showed he had kicked the puck into the net.

Switching stations

The Flyers are leaving WIP (610 AM, 94.1 FM) radio after the season and switching to 97.5 FM the Fanatic, and many games will be simulcast on ESPN-AM (950). Several games also will be broadcast on WMMR-FM (93.3).

A multiyear pact was reached, the Flyers said in a news release, adding that Tim Saunders will continue to do the play-by-play and that Chris Therien will remain as the color analyst.

"We're thrilled to be working with a partner that is 100 percent committed and excited about the Philadelphia Flyers," said Peter Luukko, president and chief operating officer of Comcast-Spectacor.

The Flyers also said that Games 2 and 4 of the Devils series will be on 610 AM, and that Game 3 will be on both 610 AM and 94.1 FM.


When they have a two-games-to-none series lead, the Flyers are 18-0 in the playoffs. When a series is 1-1, the Flyers have a 17-15 playoff record. . . . About half of the Flyers team attended Monday's optional practice; the Devils did not practice. . . . Coach Peter Laviolette said a "feeling-out process" for a new opponent contributed to the Flyers' going just 1 for 6 on the power play - and the units not looking as sharp as they were in the first round. . . . Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who is rehabilitating after back surgery, practiced but hinted that he isn't close to returning to the lineup. . . . In the playoffs, rookie Sean Couturier has won 57.4 percent of his faceoffs; he won 47 percent during the season.