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Preview: Flyers at Lightning

Center Sean Couturier placed on injured reserve by Philadelphia; Tampa Bay looking for success on home ice

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (9-8-3) at LIGHTNING (12-7-1) 

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TCN-PH, NHL.TV

 

Flyers team scope 

The Philadelphia Flyers placed center Sean Couturier on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled forward Scott Laughton from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. Couturier was injured during the second period of the Flyers' 3-1 victory at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday when he collided with Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck. General manager Ron Hextall said Wednesday he'll miss 4-6 weeks. Couturier has five goals and three assists in 20 games for Philadelphia this season. The Flyers are on the second half of a back-to-back; they are 4-0-1 in such games this season. Goaltender Steve Mason will start. Mason is 3-1-1 in his past five starts, and has limited opponents to two goals or fewer in four of those games.

 

Lightning team scope 

After going 4-1-0 on a five-game road trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning want to put an emphasis on matching that success at home. "Obviously we're happy with the results," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "But we want to keep it going at home because we haven't played a lot of home games at this point and we've got two quick ones before we head back out on the road." Tampa Bay is 5-2-1 this season at Amalie Arena. Forward Nikita Kucherov has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 19 games and is tied for second in the NHL in scoring with Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets, but coach Jon Cooper is just as impressed with Kucherov's efforts on defense and his plus-10 rating, which leads Tampa Bay. "When you talk about 200-foot players, I'm not sure if Kucherov's name is going to come up," Cooper said. "But he's rounded into a 200-foot player. He backchecks hard and he knows where to go on the defensive end. He doesn't get enough credit for how much he's evolved as a defensive player, because he didn't have that in his repertoire when he first came in."

Flyers projected lineup 

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Travis Konecny - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Matt Read

Scott Laughton - Nick Cousins - Dale Weise

Andrew MacDonald -Shayne Gostisbehere

Ivan Provorov - Mark Streit

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Michael Del Zotto, Nick Schultz, Roman Lyubimov

Injured: Sean Couturier (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Boyd Gordon (upper body)

 

Lightning projected lineup 

Alex Killorn - Vladislav Namestnikov - Nikita Kucherov

Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Erik Condra - Cedric Paquette - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov - Braydon Coburn

Jason Garrison - Slate Koekoek

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Luke Witkowski

Injured: Steven Stamkos (knee surgery), Anton Stralman (upper body), Brian Boyle (upper body).
 

Status report 

Laughton had 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 71 games with the Flyers last season. … The Lightning recalled Condra from Syracuse of the AHL to replace Boyle, who is day to day. … Vasilevskiy will make his eighth start of the season.

Who's hot 

Schenn has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 15 career games against the Lightning. ... Vasilevskiy has shutouts in his past two starts and leads the NHL in save percentage (.953) and goals-against-average (1.43). He shut out the Flyers 3-0 in Philadelphia on Saturday. Kucherov has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games and 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 11.

 

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