The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Sunday morning that veteran center Sean Couturier is being evaluated for a lower-body injury with more information being made available on Monday.
It makes his status for Monday night’s game against the New York Islanders — the Flyers’ third straight against them — questionable at best, per head coach Alain Vigneault.
“He has a lower-body injury,” Vigneault said after his team’s 6-1 loss to the Islanders. “He tried [to skate Saturday] morning, thought he’d be all right tonight, went out for warmup and him and [Flyers director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin] discussed it and felt that it was better for him not to play. I’m not sure of his overall status.”
In Couturier’s absence, Michael Raffl got the call back into the Flyers’ lineup with Scott Laughton moving to Couturier’s spot as the first-line center, though it didn’t do much good.
The Islanders popped four first-period goals past Carter Hart in the victory as Philadelphia continues to struggle mightily.
They’ve lost two of their last three games, including a 9-0 beatdown at the hands of the New York Rangers last week before allowing another six on Saturday.
It was yet another missed opportunity to gain some ground in the Eastern Division playoff race, as they sit three points behind the Boston Bruins for fourth-place and the final postseason spot available.
Losing Couturier for an extended stretch of time would make Philadelphia’s playoff push that much more difficult considering Couturier is their best defensive forward, winning the Selke Award last season. Only the Ottawa Senators have allowed more than the Flyers’ 3.55 average goals per game this season.
For Couturier himself, a frustrating season of injuries continue. He missed 10 games earlier this year because of a costochondral separation.
Still, he is one of the team’s most productive forwards, recording six goals and 13 assists (19 points) in just 18 games.