Monday began so brightly for the Philadelphia Flyers.
First, Wayne Simmonds was named the NHL’s first star of the week after scoring five goals in his last four games.
Then, Ilya Bryzgalov was named March’s first star after posting four shutouts and setting a franchise goalless streak record.
But it all came crashing down shortly thereafter, when the Flyers announced injuries to forward Daniel Briere and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann.
Briere will be out indefinitely with an upper back contusion, stemming from this hit by Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale in the waning moments of Sunday’s 6-4 win:
Briere left the ice immediately and went directly to the locker room, though GM Paul Holmgren said afterward Briere was “fine”.
(For what it’s worth, Holmgren also said Bryzgalov was “fine” after he limped off the ice last Monday…it was later revealed Bryz had a chip fracture in his foot.)
As for Grossmann, he left Sunday’s game after taking a knee-on-knee hit from — who else? — Joe Vitale! Grossmann ended up playing just 3:58 (eight shifts) in the first period before the Flyers shut him down for the afternoon.
The Flyers play their final three regular-season games this week — Tuesday against the Rangers, Thursday against the Sabres and a rematch with the Penguins on Saturday in Pittsburgh.