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Couturier game-time decision for Flyers in Game 5 against Penguins

Center has lower-body injury sustained in practice

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Sean Couturier is a game-time decision for the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT).

The center, a Selke Trophy finalist this season, was scratched from the 5-0 loss in Game 4 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday because of a lower-body injury sustained in a collision with defenseman Radko Gudas in practice Tuesday.

Couturier said he skated on his own Wednesday and again Thursday and said he is day to day.

The Flyers trail the best-of-7 series 3-1.


[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Flyers series coverage]


"I'm just coming to the rink every day, getting treatments and trying to feel better," Couturier said. "I guess the thing is see how I feel tomorrow morning.

"It's really up to my body. See how it keeps progressing and how I feel. Hopefully I'm good tomorrow."

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall refused to go into details about Couturier's availability for Game 5, saying only, "He's coming to Pittsburgh."

Couturier, who leads the Flyers in the series with three points (one goal, two assists) and leads Philadelphia forwards in ice time per game (24:35), called the collision with Gudas bad timing and a fluke accident, adding he should have had his head up to see his teammate coming.

"He felt bad," Couturier said of Gudas. "It wasn't this fault. It was a total accident. He never saw me, I never really saw him. I saw him last second. It's just a bad accident and there's no one really to blame in there."

Video: PHI@PIT, Gm2: Couturier has shot pinball past Murray

Couturier angrily threw his stick into the corner after the collision and needed help off the ice. He had a noticeable limp when he walked to the dressing room after the collision but didn't appear to be limping Thursday.

"It's frustrating, I'm not going to lie," Couturier said. "You want to be out there battling with your teammates, especially at this time of year. It's an accident. It's stuff that happens in hockey, I guess."

The Flyers moved rookie center Nolan Patrick to the first line to replace Couturier in Game 4. He skated between left wing Claude Giroux and right wing Jakub Voracek. The line was a combined minus-8, though Patrick led the Flyers with six shots on goal.

"I don't know that we saw enough of the chemistry there," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "Such a short sample, but that's the time of year that it is."

That's likely why Valtteri Filppula was skating between Giroux and Voracek in practice Thursday. Patrick was on the second line between left wing Oskar Lindblom and right wing Travis Konecny.

It also appears defenseman Robert Hagg will replace Travis Sanheim in Game 5. Hagg, who was tied for seventh in the NHL with 238 hits during the regular season, was a healthy scratch the final eight games of the season and the first four games of the playoffs. He last played March 20.

"I think it's perfect for me to come in and show what I can bring to the team," Hagg said. "If it's something good, I guess people will talk about it."



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