PHILADELPHIA – Sharks center Logan Couture was a late scratch from the Sharks’ game against the Flyers on Saturday afternoon, and is day-to-day with an upper body injury, according to coach Pete DeBoer.
DeBoer said he’s “hopeful” that Couture will be able to play on Sunday afternoon at New Jersey, as the Sharks conclude a four-game road trip.
“It was something that just kind of came out of left field, for the most part,” DeBoer said after the Flyers beat the Sharks in overtime, 2-1. “We didn’t anticipate that he wouldn’t be able to play, but those things happen, especially this time of the year. We had guys here, so the guys that went in did the job.”
San Jose has lost four in a row, but has picked up points in three of the four losses (0-1-3). On Saturday, Wayne Simmonds’ breakaway at 1:04 of extra time was the difference.
Joel Ward said: “Obviously, a guy like [Couture] is a key guy, plays everywhere on the ice. But, I thought the guys out there today did a heck of a job battling without him. Hopefully, he comes back soon.”
Kevin Labanc, who was recalled on Friday but was not expected to play as of Saturday morning, took Couture’s place in the lineup and generated a team-high five shots on goal. He did not find out he was playing until warmups.
“You’ve got to be ready,” Labanc said. "You never know when players get hurt or sick, so you’ve just got to really prepare yourself mentally and physically.”
Couture is third on the Sharks in scoring with 38 points (19g, 19a). He has 11 points (5g, 6a) in his last 10 games since missing a game on Dec. 18 at Los Angeles due to illness.