Updated: 10:35 p.m.
SUNRISE, Fla. – The very last thing the Flyers need right now is another player on long-term injury. Yet, that might be the case now.
Sean Couturier, whose line with Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek had been together all but one game this season, incurred a left MCL sprain in Tuesday's game against the Panthers at BB&T Center, according to sources.
At 1:40 of the second period, Couturier was coming out of his defensive zone and got his legs tangled with Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck. The two spun and appeared to lock up skates.
Couturier went down on the ice and Trocheck fell on top of his left ankle. Couturier, who hasn’t missed a game this season, was down on all fours trying to crawl to the bench. When helped off the ice, he could not even put his left skate down.
Goalie Steve Mason said when the incident occurred he heard Couturier scream out in pain. GM Ron Hextall officially announced Couturier has a lower-body injury and will fly back to Philadelphia on Wednesday to be seen by the Flyers' doctors. He was seen by the Panthers' team doctor here.
Couturier, who has five goals and three assists for eight points this season, suffered a sprained A/C joint in his left shoulder during Game 1 of the playoffs last spring against Washington and did not return. He spent the summer rehabbing and was eager for a healthy season.
The Flyers will undoubtedly have to call up a player by the weekend when they face Chicago at home on Black Friday.
They have one healthy forward not playing on the trip in rookie Roman Lyubimov, who figures to be in the lineup Wednesday in Tampa.
Tuesday was the first time Couturier's line had changed with Wayne Simmonds replacing Voracek.