TORONTO CANADA - DECEMBER 9: Chris Pronger #20 and Matt Carle #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates Chris Pronger goal during game action at the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs December 9 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Not So Fast: Despite Encouraging Progress, Chris Pronger Still Out For Game 5, Report Says

He made progress in practice, but Chris Pronger will still be out of the lineup when the Flyers host the Sabres in Game 5, according to a report.

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Chris Pronger Reportedly Out For Game 5 Vs. Sabres

Not so fast.

Despite an encouraging practice session and an extremely pivotal NHL playoff game against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will still be out of the lineup for Game 5. That's via a report from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, who is usually spot on when it comes to news out of Philadelphia.

While Chris Pronger seems to making progress on his injured right hand, a source close to the Flyers' defenseman said he would not be ready for Game 5.
 
Officially, the Flyers are listing him as day-to-day.  

Pronger's been listed as day-to-day for weeks now, so that's not much of a shocker and probably more of a technique to keep the Sabres on their toes. In any event, despite the progress he's made, it seems like there's still too much pain in Pronger's surgically repaired hand for him to play in a playoff game.

The Flyers haven't had defensive issues in their two losses to Buffalo in this series. Instead, most of the issues have come on the offensive side of the puck -- or, in other words, thanks to Ryan Miller

Ultimately, if the Flyers advance beyond the first round, they'll need Pronger healthy and ready to go at that time, and should he play in Game 5 and take a puck or a slash on that hand, which you know the Sabres will target, he'd be done for the year. Apparently, that's too big of a risk at this point.

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Chris Pronger Likely In For Flyers In Game 5 After Taking Slap Shots At Practice

A slap shot.

That's been the difference between game action and toiling in practice for Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, trying to return to the postseason after breaking his hand over a month ago.

With his team deadlocked at two games a piece with the Buffalo Sabres in their first-round NHL playoff series, Pronger was likely to push himself into Friday night's critical Game 5, even without the ability to wind up from the point and take those hard slap shots.

It would've been in a limited role without power play time, where the Flyers could have desperately used that cannon of a shot, but even without that aspect of his game, Pronger can still defend and lead the transition game with his still-healing hand.

Ah, but then came the morning skate on Friday before Game 5, and there was Pronger, out on the ice with his teammates. He blasted a slap shot, something he hasn't done in weeks. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette called him a game-time decision, but it seems apparent that Pronger will strap on the pads as his team goes to battle in Game 5.

For more on Pronger and the Flyers, visit Broad Street Hockey. You can also find continuing coverage of the Flyers vs. Sabres first-round series here at SBNation.com.

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