Flyers news

Hart back from food poisoning, what Tortorella won't lose sight of and more

The Flyers visit the Hurricanes on Wednesday night

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VOORHEES, N.J. — Carter Hart felt good at practice Tuesday as the Flyers were back to work in the Northeast.

He was not missing his seafood dish from Southern California.

The 25-year-old goalie dealt with food poisoning last weekend, which cost him both games of the Flyers' back-to-back set against the Ducks and Kings. Hart practiced last Thursday in Anaheim and was cleared to play after missing three games because of a mid-body injury.

But his return was delayed by some bad fish.

“I was feeling really good and ready to go," Hart said Tuesday, "and then I woke up in the middle of the night on early Friday morning, just so sick and in the fetal position for a while.”

After practice, head coach John Tortorella said he didn't know if Hart would play Wednesday. Despite losing weight, Hart looks poised to be in net when the Flyers visit the Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. ET/TNT).

“I’m down a little bit, for sure," he said, "but it shouldn’t take too long to get it back.”

Cal Petersen, who backstopped the Flyers' 4-2 win over Los Angeles, was loaned back to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, along with defenseman Victor Mete.

Rasmus Ristolainen and Marc Staal practiced Tuesday in non-contact jerseys. Neither defenseman is expected to return Wednesday, but practicing was a step forward.

Ristolainen has yet to play this season. He has skated for the last week or so in his recovery from what he disclosed as a lower-body injury.

“I feel good," he said Tuesday. "Hopefully going to be playing soon. I’m on the right track right now.”

The 29-year-old opened the season on injured reserve. He was getting closer to a return but suffered a setback around the final week of October.

“I tried to come back earlier and it went back the way it was, so that’s frustrating," Ristolainen said. "But you can’t do really anything about it, just keep working.”

Staal had skated four or five times before Tuesday's practice. He has missed the last 11 games with an upper-body injury from a collision with Oilers forward Warren Foegele.

“Just slid awkwardly into the boards," Staal said Tuesday. "His knee went into my ribs. Pretty painful.”

The 36-year-old said he won't play against the Hurricanes. After Wednesday, the Flyers have a back-to-back set at home with a matchup Saturday against the Golden Knights (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Sunday against the Blue Jackets (5:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

“Probably after the Carolina game, we’ll kind of just take it as it comes after that," Staal said. "We’ll decide kind of day by day by the weekend.”

When Ristolainen and Staal are able to return, the Flyers will have tough decisions on the back end.

Travis Sanheim and Sean Walker have been arguably the club's top blueliners, Nick Seeler is the team's grittiest defender and Cam York and Egor Zamula are important youngsters. Louie Belpedio, since being called up Oct. 26, has also played well but in limited minutes.

“When there are decisions to be made, you know you’re getting deeper in your lineup," Tortorella said. "I’m not going to lose sight of the kids. We’ll see where it all goes.

“We’re going to be making these decisions all year long, whether it be older guys or the younger guys, as we continue. We want to grow them, but we’re trying to win hockey games, too, as we’re involved in the season.”

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