There's a chance Flyers center Sean Couturier will return to the lineup Sunday in New Jersey, and general manager Paul Holmgren - who guards injury reports as if they are state secrets - did not rule out the possibility that defenseman Andrej Meszaros would play.

Couturier injured his leg in the first period of Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss, and he is officially listed as day-to-day. Without Couturier anchoring the Flyers' checking line, New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk erupted for a goal and two assists to key the Devils' win.

Meszaros has not played since March 1. When he underwent back surgery March 21, Holmgren said he would be sidelined six to eight weeks.

In a text Friday, Holmgren said Meszaros' status remained "the same."

Asked to clarify what that meant and if there was a chance he would play Sunday, Holmgren said, "It means his status is still six-to-eight weeks from surgery."

Sunday will be six weeks and four days since the surgery.

Meszaros has been skating with the team. He is expected to join it at Saturday's practice in Voorhees.

Pressure gauge

Devils coach Pete DeBoer said the heat is on the Flyers.

"I think there's a pressure with being the favorite in a series," DeBoer said. "I think we felt that in the Florida series [in the first round]. I don't think there's any doubt, and that's on Philadelphia here. That's something that isn't easy to deal with, knowing you're supposed to win and not only win but win convincingly."

In the regular season, the Devils had 102 points - just one less than the Flyers.

"We like the spot we're in, and we're just going to keep working," DeBoer said.

Fabulous at 40

When Devils goalie Marty Brodeur plays his next game, it will be on his 40th birthday.

"Do they accept 40-year-olds out there?" Brodeur wondered.

Brodeur has a 2.39 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in the series.


The teams that have scored first are 1-8 in the Flyers' playoff games this year. . . . The Devils are 3-1 in home playoff games this season. Before this year, they were just 3-7 in playoff contests at the Prudential Center. . . . In the first three playoff games against New Jersey, Ilya Bryzgalov has a 3.00 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. . . . Danny Briere has nine game-winning goals for the Flyers in the playoffs, second in franchise history behind Rick MacLeish (10). . . . If you exclude shootouts - which, of course, are not held in the playoffs - the Flyers have not lost three straight games all season. They have lost two in a row in this series. . . . Erik Gustafsson leads the Flyers in the playoffs with a plus-4 rating.