The Philadelphia Flyers could be without top center Sean Couturier for Wednesday’s pivotal Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If things weren’t bad enough for the Philadelphia Flyers, they got worse on Tuesday afternoon when Sean Couturier left practice with a right leg injury.
The injury occurred when Couturier collided with defenseman Radio Gudas. Gudas told the media after practice, “I didn’t see him. He didn’t see me.”
The center was helped off the ice by trainers and was seen limping back to the locker room. Claude Giroux didn’t have an update on his teammate, but Wayne Simmonds sounded hopeful, saying, “(Couturier) is will be fine. I’m not worried about Coots.”
The Flyers trail the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Couturier has three points in the series. All three points came in the Flyers’ 5-1 Game 2 victory. Their two losses came by scores of 7-0 and 5-1.
Prior to the injury, the Flyers shifted their lines during Tuesday’s practice. Jake Voracek was back on the right wing next to Couturier and Giroux. The three played together during the first 25 games of the season, but were split in December following a 10-game losing streak. Giroux and Couturier have spent the entire season on the same line.
If the 25-year-old center is unable to suit up for Game 4, the Flyers have a couple of options to replace him. Nolan Patrick could center the top line, although that’s a tough task to lay at the feet of the rookie.
Valtteri Filppula might be the better option. The 12-year veteran is pointless in the series, but has over 100 games of NHL playoff experience under his belt.
Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.