As the Flyers were turning the Wells Fargo Center into a madhouse during the third period Saturday night, Scott Laughton was somewhere getting his finger checked.
He was not a part of the Flyers’ five-goal third period that flipped a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 victory over the Blue Jackets (see observations).
The third-line winger suffered a broken finger on his right hand during the second period and is expected to miss four weeks.
The news provided a bittersweet feel to the Flyers’ first three-game winning streak in October since the 2014-15 season.
Losing Laughton for a month is no small blow. He can play center or winger in the bottom six, was leading the team’s forwards in PK minutes prior to Saturday and put up career highs last season in goals (12), assists (20), games (82) and average ice time (14:51).
He is valuable to the Flyers, who might not have him for around 14 games. Ten of those games come against teams that made the playoffs last season.
The Flyers will move forward with Tyler Pitlick entering the lineup. The 27-year-old plays a similar game to Laughton. He utilizes a north-south, forechecking style and will have to play important shorthanded minutes (see story). Before the injury to Laughton, Pitlick was the Flyers’ lone extra forward. Now the team doesn’t have one.
When the Flyers struggled to score during their four-game skid, they didn’t hesitate to make moves, calling up Joel Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev. The addition of Vorobyev moved Laughton to the wing, where the team likes him a little bit better.
The Flyers’ offense has awoken with 17 goals in the three-game winning streak.
If the well runs dry, the Flyers may have options but it would take some maneuvering. They have 22 players on the roster — which can be at a maximum of 23 — with $115,620 in projected cap space, according to CapFriendly.com.
Some call-up candidates could be Carsen Twarynski, German Rubtsov, Andy Andreoff and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. If the Flyers were in desperate need of a spark, maybe Morgan Frost would see his NHL debut.
But the Flyers are not ready — or in a great spot — to summon reinforcements.
After three healthy scratches, Pitlick will slide back into the lineup, play head coach Alain Vigneault’s system and try to help the Flyers not think about the roster.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.