Gagne to return Saturday vs Rangers

After missing 22 games due to a double hernia suffered on Oct. 26,  Flyers’ forward Simon Gagne is set to make his return to the active lineup, Saturday against the New York Rangers.

“I’m very excited,” Gagne told the media on Friday. “I think today was pretty much the first time I enjoyed myself in practice. I knew the way I was feeling today that tomorrow was going to be my first day back.”

Despite having just five points in nine games this season, Gagne, who scored 74 points in 79 games last season, is a welcome addition to the struggling Flyers’ lineup that has scored just seven goals in their last five games.

“He’s a skilled player, and any time you get a top-six player back in the lineup, you’re getting a boost to your lineup,” Flyers’ coach Peter Laviolette said. “The name of the game is offense, and the top teams in the league are scoring goals. He gives us more of a threat when he’s on the ice.”

Gagne will be placed on a line with Dan Carcillo, centered by Mike Richards.  While Jeff Carter will center Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere.

“We’ll start there and see how he looks,” Laviolette said. “I think it’s a good spot for him, and it keeps Carter’s line intact. I thought that [Claude Giroux’s] line did a good job, we’ve got a real strong reliable checking line, so there should be good balance.”

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