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MONTREAL -- Flyers forward Ian Laperriere admitted he was nervous coming back into the lineup after suffering a concussion and brain contusion blocking a shot late in the first round, but he insisted he wouldn't have played if his long-term health had been at risk.
"That's what the neurologists told me, all four of them, and that's why I'm here tonight," he said. "I want to emphasize that. If there was a little chance that I was going to get hurt, you know, you always take a chance when you go out there, but if I was more at risk than before my injury, I wouldn't be out there.
"I said that before when I got injured. I'm a family guy. I've got two kids at home. I've got a wife. I've got to think about that. I didn't want to be selfish."
Laperriere got an early test Saturday when he and Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik became engaged along the boards and ended up with matching roughing penalties.
"Yeah, if I don't play that way, I'm not effective for my team," Laperriere said. "That first penalty, that roughing [call], I took a couple punches to the face, and that kind of got me going. I knew I could take a hit. I won't lie to anybody. I was nervous all night last night, and today just to take that first hit, and I did, and I got bumped around like I usually do."
So, how did he feel after his first game back?
"Tired. I'm tired, but I'm excited," Laperriere said. "I had fun out there, back with my teammates. Hockey's my passion, but I've got to think about my family, that's my life. It was just great to be with the boys for a big win."To make room Laperriere and Jeff Carter to come into the lineup, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette had to scratch Andreas Nodl and tough guy Dan Carcillo. He said it wasn't an easy decision to make.
"[Carter is] a 30- to 40-goal scorer now and maybe more in the future. Ian Laperriere is as valuable going the other way as Jeff is going towards their net," Laviolette said. "To get players like that back into your lineup certainly is a boost, not just emotionally, but also from a standpoint of on ice play.
"As far as Danny Carcillo goes, it's the toughest thing I've had to do this year. Danny's a valuable part of the team, and I love Danny Carcillo and the way he plays the game. If two people are going into your lineup, then two people have to come out of your lineup, and it's just those are tough decisions."