After spending over a month on the sidelines recovering from abdomen surgery, Flyers’ goaltender Ray Emery hinted at making an early return between the pipes tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But it wasn’t until early Saturday morning, nine hours before the game, that the Flyers delayed the comeback attempt.
The Flyers announced that red-hot Michael Leighton will be making the start against former Flyer and Tampa Bay goalie Antero Niittymaki. Meanwhile, Emery, who is back in game shape 11 days earlier than the expected return time, will be testing his recovery in a conditioning stint with the Adirondack Phantoms tonight against the Portland Pirates.
The Flyers are 6-1-1 with Leighton in net, which likely helped general manager Paul Holmgren make the decision not to rush Emery back to action. Emery hasn’t played since Dec. 9.