Hal Gill admitted a couple weeks ago that when he signed with the Flyers after a pro tryout in training camp, he expected the Flyers' defense corps would be faced with a few injuries this season.

For most of the season, the Flyers were healthy. After Gill was a good soldier, sitting out as a healthy scratch for all but six games, it appears his opportunity is here.

Nick Grossmann didn't practice Saturday morning. He left Game 4 in the early stages of the second period after going awkwardly into the boards with New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard. Grossmann had been a mainstay on the Flyers' penalty-killing unit and was paired with Mark Streit, who has played very well through four games of the series.

In Saturday's practice, Gill was paired with Streit and it appears as though he'll be the guy to go in Game 5 Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

"Sky divers jump out of planes because they get a rush. I play hockey to play in the playoffs," Gill said. "That's the high that everyone's looking for."

Gill, 39, didn't register any points in his games this year, but was extremely effective in playing a simple game and getting the puck out of the Flyers' zone quickly.

"It's good," Gill said. "It felt good to get back in the lineup and get competitive and get your timing and your space down a little bit. I think it helped a lot."

The decision to dress Gill over the younger Erik Gustafsson is somewhat surprising. Gustafsson, 25, is speedy and the Flyers could certainly use some wheels against a Rangers team that has proved to be the faster club so far in the series.

On the other hand, coach Craig Berube seems to like having a puck-moving defenseman with a stay-at-home blueliner on each pair. Having Streit and Gustafsson together would be a bit redundant in that regard.