MONTREAL - Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Jaroslav Modry will return to the Czech Republic on Saturday to attend the burial of his father, Jaroslav Sr., who died last week after a seven-month battle with colon cancer.
Modry will not be in the lineup when the Flyers face the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday night.
"The arrangements were set," Flyers coach John Stevens said of Modry. "We're going to make sure he has enough time to get back and take the time that he needs.
"He's going to leave from here to go home and he'll have plenty of time to pay his respects, and then take whatever time he needs to rejoin the team. He's leaving on Saturday."
After learning of his father's death, Modry tried to continue playing, but he was replaced by Lasse Kukkonen at the end of Philadelphia's seven-game victory over Washington in the first round of playoffs.
No lineup changes were expected for either team for the opener between two clubs that have had little time to prepare for one another. Montreal won Game 7 over Boston on Monday night, while the Flyers finished off the Capitals on Tuesday night.
Canadiens captain Saku Koivu and forward Alex Kovalev did not take part in the team skate Thursday morning, but coach Guy Carbonneau said both will play.
Flyers star Daniel Briere, meanwhile, who was booed each time he touched the puck on his team's two visits to the Bell Centre this season, is brushing off the extra attention.
Fans were upset that the Gatineau, Que., native opted to sign an eight-year deal with the Flyers rather than the Canadiens reported offer of a six-year contract.
If the booing bothers Briere, he doesn't show it.
"I see it as a compliment more than anything," he said. "It means you're doing something well, you're getting under the other team's skin and that's a good sign.
"I know it happened during the regular season here and I expect the same thing. It means they don't want you to succeed. To me, it's very positive."