PHILADELPHIA — Chris VandeVelde and Ryan White feel Vinny Lecavalier’s pain.

For the first eight games of the season, the former goal-scoring champion, Stanley Cup winner and four-time All-Star has sat out as a healthy scratch. Injuries to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (a “lower-body injury” will keep him out at least two weeks) and Sean Couturier (concussion) created an opening that Lecavalier is finally asked to fill.

“He’s obviously been the odd man out,” VandeVelde said. “Especially me and Whitey, we’ve been in his spot before. Obviously we’re not as accomplished as he is, but it’s not fun sitting out games. He’s handled it very well.”

Even when he knew he was playing Thursday night, his first game after being benched eight games this season and 17 games last season, Lecavalier rarely smiled after the morning skate.

After all, could there be much less of a chance to succeed than being put at his least favorite position on the Flyers’ fourth line against a team that stifles offense like the New Jersey Devils?