Flyers in the market for defensemen

It was exactly the kind of game Chris Pronger would have loved. An intense battle against an elite opponent he’s played against for high stakes many, many times. Watching the Philadelphia Flyers go toe to toe with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night, it was impossible not to imagine what kind of impact Pronger would have had on the game. Would Todd Bertuzzi have been so comfortable in front of Sergei Bobrovsky? Would the Red Wings’ power play have been so effective?

Philadelphia has managed to remain near the top of the Eastern Conference for most of the season despite missing its captain for the season with a concussion. But this is the time of the season he is missed, and it’s only going to get worse in the postseason. Assuming Philadelphia makes it.

“A playoff run, a stretch run to make the playoffs — right now, we’re not guaranteed a spot right now,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said. “It’s a battle every game. We’ve realized the last few games, it’s not going to be easy. You miss a guy like Chris and [James van Riemsdyk] is obviously a big player for us as well. We miss those guys.”

The Flyers are allowing 2.93 goals per game, which is No. 25 in the league, and it all can’t be pinned on goaltending. The penalty kill is 81.4 percent, barely in the top 20 in the NHL.

With the trade deadline two weeks away, the Flyers could use a defensive boost.

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