Flyers Notebook: Couturier expected to return

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Five
Couturier, shown here mixing it with the Devils last postseason, is expected to return to the ice Friday in New Jersey.

It’s been more than a year since the Flyers trekked up the Turnpike and beat the Devils. They have been getting pitch-forked ever since, including an unexpected, five-game thrashing in the second round of last year’s playoffs.

The longest road trip of the season continues Friday night in Newark, where Martin Brodeur shut them out 3-0 on Jan. 13 — it was the 10th time in his 120 career shutouts that he’s blanked the Orange and Black.  It also marked the Flyers’ fourth straight loss at Prudential Center, including two games in the playoffs.

From Newark the Flyers head straight to Montreal Saturday before wrapping up with the Islanders and Penguins.

Assuming they can hold their own over that stretch, things figure to turn their way when they open a five-game homestand. The team will play 20 of their remaining 32 games here.

Perhaps somewhere in that stretch they’ll get Andrej Meszaros back from the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for 10 games.  On Thursday, the 27-year-old defenseman skated with his teammates for the first time since going down. He wore a yellow “non-contact” jersey.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Meszaros, who didn’t play during the lockout. “The focus for me was to get healthy and start the season on time. To come out after four games, it’s frustrating and bad luck.”

But the Flyers could welcome back Sean Couturier as early as Friday night. He missed the past two games with the flu.

Even better would be the re-emergence of Claude Giroux as a scoring threat. The new captain has only one goal in the last 12 games, with teams making it a point to focus on him. Danny Briere has only two goals in his 10 games back.



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