For the first time this season, Flyers winger R.J. Umberger was a healthy scratch Tuesday against Dallas.
Acquired in the offseason with a fourth-round 2015 draft pick in the deal that sent Scott Hartnell to Columbus, Umberger is goalless in his last 18 games, a career worst. He had a 17-game pointless streak earlier in the season.
"I can't say my game's [going] too well, and I don't have too many feet to stand on right now and disagree," Umberger said in a somber tone after the morning skate. "It's disappointing that at this time of the year it's not there."
Vinny Lecavalier, who entered the night goalless in a career-worst 21 games and had been scratched in seven of the previous nine contests, returned to the lineup on the fourth line.
Umberger called it "the hardest year of my career, and it's had a bunch of low points for different reasons. I've been fighting all year trying to figure it out."
Umberger, 32, who supposedly has been battling an undisclosed injury, admitted that the fact he was traded for a fan favorite, Hartnell, has put extra pressure on him.
"I'd lie if I said it didn't," he said. "I know what type of guy Hartnell was in the locker room, and all these guys enjoyed having him here and the success he's had, and he's done pretty well in Columbus. So, yeah, when things aren't going well, there's added pressure and you feel that."
The trade for Umberger was the first made by new general manager Ron Hextall.
"I think the biggest thing that's bothered me is just that I feel like I've let Ron Hextall down," Umberger said. "He believed in me, bringing me here, and I feel I haven't been the player he needs."
Overall, Umberger has nine goals and 15 points and a minus-9 rating.
Hartnell entered Tuesday with 16 goals and 43 points, and was minus-12.
After this season, Hartnell has four years left on his contract, while Umberger has two years remaining.