Sean Couturier has a lower-body injury and will not play tonight in Pittsburgh.
The loss is huge because Couturier is the Flyers’ top defensive forward, and he usually shadows Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby, the Penguins’ high-scoring stars. He also had 14 points in the last 14 games and has been arguably the Flyers’ best player in the last five-plus weeks.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol claimed he expected Couturier to be ready to play Thursday, but that after he received treatment, it was determined he couldn’t go.
Tonight is a big game for both teams, given the standings:
The Flyers lost their last outing in painful fashion. On Tuesday, with just eight seconds remaining in regulation, they surrendered the game-deciding goal to the Maple Leafs.
Prior to that defeat, the Flyers had gone 5-0-1 in their last six.