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Briere out indefinitely after Vitale hit

The SportsXchange

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Monday that forward Daniel Briere will be out indefinitely following a hit by Penguins forward Joe Vitale in the closing minutes of Philadelphia's 6-4 win on Sunday afternoon.

Briere had the puck when Vitale delivered a hard hit with just over a minute remaining in Sunday's game at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The hit sparked a wild brawl that saw 52 penalty minutes handed out and left both Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette arguing over cheap shots.

Briere, 34, has 16 goals and 33 assists in 70 games this season for the Flyers. He will sit out with an upper back contusion.

The Penguins and Flyers appear on track to meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, as the sit in fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh (48-25-6, second in Atlantic Division) remains mathematically alive to catch the Rangers for the top spot in the East, but New York needs just one point in its remaining three games to clinch the first seed. Likewise, Philadelphia (46-24-9, third in Atlantic Division) needs just one point in its next three games to prevent New Jersey from moving in on the No. 5 spot.

The Flyers and Penguins will play again on the final day of the regular season, a 4 p.m. game on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The Flyers return to action on Tuesday night, hosting the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center, while the Penguins travel to Boston for a Tuesday night battle at TD Garden.
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