Prized rookie Couturier returns for Philly tonight


Slowly, the Philadelphia Flyers are returning to health.

Nineteen-year-old rookie Sean Couturier (head) is set to rejoin the lineup tonight as the Flyers take on the Penguins in a highly-anticipated game at the Consol Energy Center. Couturier has been out since Dec. 17 after taking a Kimmo Timonen slapper in the helmet.

The shot hit him near his left ear — Couturier said he initially lost most of his hearing in the ear, but it’s since returned and is now almost back to normal.

Couturier will be Philadelphia’s third returnee in the last four games. Against Dallas (on Dec. 21), leading scorer Claude Giroux returned to the lineup in style, scoring four points in a 4-1 win. Brayden Schenn then made his return from a concussion on Tuesday in a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

Speaking of Schenn, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Flyers could ice a “kid line” tonight with Schenn skating alongside Couturier and Harry Zolnierczyk. The trio would make for one of the youngest units in the NHL — Couturier’s 19, Schenn is 20 and Zolniercyzk is the cagey veteran of the group at 24.