Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl will be out six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Flyers announced Wednesday.
Raffl was injured Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers, likely when he blocked a shot by the Oilers' Mark Fayne with 12:12 left in the third period. The block left Raffl on all fours on the ice momentarily but he stayed in the game and finished his shift. He played two more shifts, leaving the game with 4:02 remaining in Philadelphia's 4-1 win.
In 12 games Raffl has six goals, tied for the team lead with Wayne Simmonds, and has been the left wing on Philadelphia's top line alongside center Claude Giroux and right wing Jakub Voracek.
"He's been a huge part of our line and our team," Voracek said, according to the Courier-Post. "It's tough to see him go down, especially after the start he had. He's been leading the team in goals with [Simmonds]. It's hockey. Injuries happen. We just have to make sure we get him back as soon as possible because he's very important for our team."
Chris VandeVelde, who had been on the fourth line, skated in Raffl's spot at practice Wednesday and could be there when the Flyers play the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
"Obviously it's not good that Raffl's hurt, but to get the opportunity is going to be fun," VandeVelde said, according to the Courier-Post. "You try and make more plays but play your game still and try to get them the puck. Odds are you're going to be able to get it back. Definitely two really good players and I'm excited to be on the line."