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At the Rink blog

Sharks get Couture, Torres back; Hertl skates

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:37 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Sharks get Couture, Torres back; Hertl skates

The San Jose Sharks are set to have forwards Logan Couture and Raffi Torres back in their lineup when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

It's the first game out of the Olympic break for each team.

Couture hasn't played since Jan. 5 because of a hand injury which required surgery. He had a five-game point streak when he came out of the lineup, including goals in four straight games from Dec. 29-Jan. 4. He'll center the second line between Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat.

"Last night, it was difficult going to sleep just thinking about how exciting it is to get out and play in an NHL game again," Couture said Thursday, according to CSNBayArea.com. "It feels like I haven't played in like three years."

Torres will be making his season debut after injuring his knee in a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks. He'll play left wing on the third line with center Andrew Desjardins and right wing Tyler Kennedy.

Torres had two goals and six points in 11 regular-season games and a goal in five Stanley Cup Playoff games after being acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline.

"We've been waiting for the health of our team to improve. When you can bring [Couture and Torres] back into the lineup, that’s a very welcome thing," coach Todd McLellan said.

Forward Tomas Hertl skated Thursday for the first time since sustaining a knee injury Dec. 19 against the Los Angeles Kings. Hertl reported no pain in the knee, but there is no timetable for his return.

Alex Stalock was first off the ice and will start in goal for San Jose, which plays again Friday at the Buffalo Sabres. McLellan said Antti Niemi will start then.

Steve Mason will be in goal for the Flyers, who are third in the Metropolitan Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference with 66 points.

Here's how the lines could look when the Sharks face the Flyers:

SHARKS

Joe PavelskiJoe ThorntonBrent Burns

Patrick MarleauLogan CoutureMarty Havlat

Raffi TorresAndrew DesjardinsTyler Kennedy

Matt NietoAdam BurishTommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard VlasicDan Boyle

Matt IrwinJustin Braun

Scott HannanJason Demers

Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi

Injured: Tomas Hertl (knee), Brad Stuart (upper body)

FLYERS

Scott HartnellClaude GirouxJakub Voracek

Vincent LecavalierBrayden SchennWayne Simmonds

Steve DownieSean CouturierMatt Read

Michael RafflAdam HallZac Rinaldo

Andrej MeszarosMark Streit

Braydon CoburnNicklas Grossmann

Erik GustafssonLuke Schenn

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Kimmo Timonen

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis