A ‘big loss’ — Couturier out four weeks with lower-body injury

AP
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The Philadelphia Flyers will be without Sean Couturier for approximately four weeks, the club announcing this morning that the 23-year-old center has a lower-body injury.

Couturier played just 11:35 in last night’s 6-3 victory in Nashville. He has nine goals and 15 assists in 40 games. He’s also one of the Flyers’ top possession forwards.

Which is to say, he’ll be tough to replace.

As far as candidates to take Couturier’s spot in the lineup, R.J. Umberger and Jordan Weal were healthy scratches against the Preds.

While GM Ron Hextall said he’ll consider alternatives…

…there’s no doubt this hurts the Flyers’ playoff chances, after three straight wins had lifted them to within four points of the second wild-card spot (with three games in hand on New Jersey).

“Coots is a big loss to our team, but we’ve got a bunch of guys here that believe in what we’re doing,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told the Courier-Post. “Everybody’s gonna have to chip in and take a little bit of that slack. One guy’s not gonna step into that role and do it all. Everybody’s got to step in. We’re gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing, keep fighting and scratching and clawing and playing well.”

The Flyers host the Rangers Saturday, then play in Washington Sunday afternoon (on NBC).