Dr. Steven Raikin will perform foot surgery on both players Friday at the Riverview Surgery Center at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia to repair fractures sustained in Tuesday's 4-1 victory in Game 4 that gave the Flyers a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round. That said, it would be to the Flyers best interest to close out the series Thursday at Prudential Center since it would provide an extra week of rest for Gagne. The conference semifinal would not begin until April 29 at the earliest.
Gagne will have two screws surgically inserted in his right big toe and is likely to miss three weeks. Carter, who will remain on crutches for six weeks, will have a plate inserted on the shaft of the metatarsal of his second toe and is out indefinitely.
The Flyers lost both Gagne and Carter for parts of the regular season, but never both at the same time during the 82-game regular season.
Thanks to the intrepid work of NHL.com's Greg Inglis, I'm able to provide you with a breakdown of how Philly fared without each of their top guns in the lineup this season:
Without Gagne (Oct. 27 through Nov. 17): 10-13-1, 2.5 goals/game
Without Carter (Mar. 23 through Apr. 6): 3-4-1, 2.4 goals/game
Both in the lineup: 28-18-4, 3.0 goals/game
The Flyers' goals/game avg. for the regular season was 2.8.
Said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren: "We haven't used injuries as an excuse all year. We certainly aren't going to start now."
In the last game before Carter returned to the lineup (he missed the final 8 games of the regular season with a fractured left foot), these were the lines Flyers coach Peter Laviolette had matched up:
van Riemsdyk – Richards – Giroux
Gagne – Briere – Leino
Hartnell – Powe – Asham
Carcillo – Laperriere – Betts
While those lines don't help that much since Gagne is also out of the lineup now, what it does show is Laviolette's faith in Briere to play center. Beyond that, though, it's all speculation.