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Flyers' Couturier out four weeks

Philadelphia center left game Thursday because of lower-body injury

NHL.com @NHL

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier will be out approximately four weeks because of a lower-body injury, general manager Ron Hextall said Friday.

Couturier left the Flyers' game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday with 2:04 remaining in the second period and didn't return. He also missed the three games leading up to the All-Star break because of a lower-body injury.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Couturier's current injury is a reoccurrence of his previous one.

"It's the same injury," he said, according to CSNPhilly.com. "I'm not sure there was a play. It just got to the point where he could not play anymore. This is nothing serious and nothing that will affect [Couturier] down the road. In terms of the injury, if you had to pick one to be out four weeks, there is no lasting effects of this."
  
In 40 games this season Couturier has nine goals and 24 points. He had an assist in Philadelphia's 6-3 win against Nashville before leaving the game. He was centering the second line, with Brayden Schenn and Sam Gagner.
  
Couturier has missed nine games this season because of injury. The Flyers are 2-6-1 without him and 21-12-7 with him in the lineup. The Flyers play the New York Rangers at home Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-PH, MSG).

"It's not the news we wanted but that is the way life goes," Hextall said. "Again, we have a resilient group and got to continue with that. [Couturier] is a big part but other guys have a chance to step up and get more minutes. Take the ball and roll with it."
  
Philadelphia is four points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have three games in hand on the Devils.
  
The Flyers recalled center Nick Cousins from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Friday. In four games earlier this season he had two shots on goal. He leads Lehigh Valley with 38 points in 38 games.

In his earlier stint with the Flyers Cousins played on a bottom-six line, which means Scott Laughton could move up into Couturier's spot. Coach Dave Hakstol mentioned the possibility of Laughton picking up extra minutes while Couturier is out, according to CSNPhilly.com.
  
Laughton had two assists Thursday against the Predators, his first multipoint game in 49 games this season. He has 14 points and is averaging 10:16 of ice time per game. He had been the third-line center between Matt Read and Michael Raffl.

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