After much speculation from the media and denial from general manager Paul Holmgren, it is official: Flyers forwards Ian Laperriere and Jeff Carter will both be activated for the Eastern Conference Finals game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens today at the Bell Center. The Flyers lead the series 2-1.
Laperriere, 36, is returning from a brain contusion, will replace Andreas Nodl on the fourth line. He has missed 10 games since taking a Paul Martin slap shot to the face in game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils. The team’s emotional leader has scored 11 hits in his 5 games played.
Carter, 25, was the Flyers leading scorer in the regular season with 33 goals and 28 assists, and is back, replacing Dan Carcillo, after suffering a broken bone in his foot in game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. He will either play on Claude Giroux’s wing or Giroux will slip to wing and Carter will take over third-line centering duties. Danny Briere will remain at center.
However, CSNphilly.com’s John Boruk has said that Carter will begin the game on the wing of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Carter has 11 points in 18 career games against the Habs.