PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have to try to snap their three-game losing without one of their leading scorers, Wayne Simmonds, who will sit out Saturday's game against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes due to head and neck injuries.
Simmonds, who is tied with Matt Read for the team lead with five points in eight games, was elbowed in the face by Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine late in the first period of Friday's game and did not return.The Flyers gave no timetable for how long Simmonds would be out, but Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Simmonds would be re-evaluated Sunday.
"It's disappointing," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said of Simmonds' absence. "We certainly could use him in the lineup right now. His ability to score, his physical presence, the roles and situations and the minutes that he plays on our team, we'll miss him."
Simmonds had been playing right wing on the Flyers' top line with center Claude Giroux and left wing Danny Briere. Rookie forward Tye McGinn slid into that spot for the final two periods of Friday's game, and while Laviolette wouldn't discuss his lineup, it would appear McGinn will at least start Saturday's game there.
In five games, McGinn has a goal and two assists. He played 15:48 Friday against Washington, drawing an assist on Philadelphia's first goal.
"He's been terrific," Laviolette said of McGinn. "We said every day Tye has done well in practice and in games. He's a big guy out there that can get to the net, he can make plays, he's physical. He's done a really good job. With the absence of Scott [Hartnell] and in the absence of Wayne, opportunities come. … While we'll miss Wayne, there are others we're counting on to fill those spots and that's a perfect example."
Laviolette confirmed Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal.