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Flyers’ Lineup Expected to Get Back a Key Player vs. Caps

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James van Riemsdyk and his brother, Trevor, Philadelphia Flyers
James van Riemsdyk and his brother, Trevor, could meet Wednesday when the Flyers host the Washington Capitals.

James van Riemsdyk could return to the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup Wednesday against the visiting Washington Capitals.

Coach John Tortorella said if he received a good medical report on the left winger later Tuesday, “he has a chance to play.”

Van Riemsdyk, 33, has been sidelined for 20 games because of a broken finger. The Flyers have missed his presence. They have won just five of 20 games (5-10-5) without him in the lineup.

“His strength of his game is the power play, underneath-the-hashmarks offense,” Tortorella said. “He’s a veteran guy who was playing really good before he got hurt. He’ll give us a boost.”

He had five points (2-3) and a plus-5 rating in the six games he played before breaking a finger on his left hand in a 3-0 loss Oct. 23 to San Jose.

‘Jump in the water’

Van Riemsdyk, who has been skating and looked to have lots of “jump” at Tuesday’s practice, said his conditioning is “as good as it can be. Obviously, you can’t try to mimic playing games and that type of hockey shape. But you try to do your best as far as skating and things like that. I have to jump in the water at some point and go from there.”

He was asked if gripping his stick was difficult because of the surgery.

“At this point, I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be perfect,” said van Riemsdyk, who who had the finger taped at practice. “But you get to a point where you feel comfortable enough that you can contribute and not be a liability.”

The Central Jersey native said it was difficult being out of the lineup for about six weeks.

“I love to play,” said van Riemsdyk, who could face his brother, Trevor, in Wednesday’s matchup. “Minus stuff with my family, what I like to do (best) is play hockey. Obviously, watching is always tough. You think you can be out there and contributing and making a difference in some games. The team has been playing pretty well lately, so I just want to kind of hop in and hopefully have a seamless transition.”

The power play was much more efficient when he was the team’s net-front presence.

“He’s a goal scorer in this league,” forward Kevin Hayes said. “He allows our power play to have a very different look because everyone in the league knows how good he is in front. Teams have to respect it, and other areas open up.”

Breakaways

The Philadelphia Flyers (9-12-5) are 2-2 on the homestand, which concludes Wednesday against Alex Ovechkin and the Caps (11-12-4). … Tanner Laczynski, who was injured in the third period Monday, did not practice and is listed as week to week. … The Flyers’ power play is 3 for 6 in the last two games. Before that it had been 0 for 19 in the previous seven games.

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