Flyers' Grossmann out for Game 5 against Rangers

Nicklas Grossmann, #8 of the Philadelphia Flyers, is injured in the second period on a check by...

Nicklas Grossmann, #8 of the Philadelphia Flyers, is injured in the second period on a check by Derick Brassard #16 of the New York Rangers in Game Four of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 25, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

Ken Wiebe, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:48 PM ET

NEW YORK — The Philadelphia Flyers will be without defenceman Nicklas Grossmann for their pivotal Game 5 against the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Flyers head coach Craig Berube declared Grossmann, who suffered what appeared to be an injury to his right knee or ankle in the second period of Friday’s 2-1 win over the Rangers, out of the lineup, though he wasn’t ready to unveil who would be replacing him.

The decision is down to veteran Hal Gill or the more mobile Erik Gustafsson.

“I’m going to sleep on it tonight, wake up in the morning and make a decision,” Berube told reporters at the Flyers’ Skate Zone on Saturday.

Grossmann crashed awkwardly into the end boards after he was slashed by Rangers centre Derick Brasssard and couldn’t put any weight on his right leg as he made his way to the dressing room.

Although the choice might not be made yet, it was Gill who was skating with Mark Streit during Saturday’s practice and could provide a hint as to which way Berube is leaning.

Gill played only six games with the Flyers this season but the 39-year-old has appeared in 110 Stanley Cup playoff games during his career, compared to none for Gustafsson, who had two goals and 10 points in 31 games this season.

“We’ve had a healthy crew. We’ve got a guy who’s banged up and hopefully can play. If (Grossmann) can’t (play), that’s what I’ve been working for,” said Gill, whose last playoff appearance came with the Nashville Predators in 2012. “I think you more you play in the playoffs, the more you realize it’s a journey. There’s ups and downs, not just in the whole thing, but during the games. there can be momentum swings, things that can change a series. You can’t sit there and think about things.

“That’s what I enjoy about it. You play for the moment, that one battle in the corner down in your end. Which leads to a breakout. Which leads to a goal. It changes the game, changes the series, changes everything. I don’t want to sound like an NHL slogan, but one play can change everything.”

Although he was used sparingly by the Flyers this season, Gill did suit up for the final two games of the regular season, so he’s not that far removed from his last game action.

“It felt good to get back in the lineup and get competitive and get your timing and your space down a little bit,” said Gill. “I think it helped a lot.”

The Rangers had 17 players participate in their optional skate on Saturday and much of the talk revolved around fixing a power play that is three-for-20 overall and has only one goal since striking twice during the third period of the series opener.

“We’ve been meeting about that all morning. Hopefully we’ll put that on the ice tomorrow and let that speak for itself,” said Rangers centre Brad Richards. “We’ve definitely got to get some different looks. You’ve got to give them credit, they’re a different team on (the penalty kill) than they were in the first game.

“They’ve made some adjustments, the lanes are a lot different. Now it’s our turn to up that and make them adjust and try to score a goal.”

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault says the problem is easily correctable.

“It’s a matter of execution,” said Vigneault. “It’s more about how we’re moving the puck than anything else right now. We had a good meeting on it today and I’m confident the power play will be effective.”

 


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