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January 21, 2016

Couturier out against Pittsburgh, Flyers recall Gagner to take his place

Flyers NHL

Well, it seems like Jordan Weal knew something when he said on Wednesday that Sean Couturier would be 50/50 for tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. Not that the Flyers brass (Dave Hakstol said that Couturier just had a maintenance day) is likely thrilled that the 23-year-old Weal revealed anything at all.

Couturier, who was seen in the X-ray room after Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, isn’t playing against the Penguins tonight because of the ultra-specific “lower-body injury.” It doesn’t sound like the 23-year-old center will have a long-term absence, but that situation is worth keeping an eye on.

The Flyers are going to miss Couturier (22 points in 38 games), who centers the team’s strong second line. He also has been a major part of the Flyers’ recent dominance (13-2-1, including playoffs) at Consol Energy Center, in part due to his ability to frustrate Evgeni Malkin. 

In addition, the Flyers called up Sam Gagner from Lehigh Valley. Gagner, who was placed on waivers in December as a victim of the Flyers’ cap trouble after Shayne 👻🐻 solidified his spot, can rejoin the 23-man roster due to the space created by the Vinny Lecavalier trade.

The 26-year-old had six points in nine games down in Lehigh Valley, and he’ll take Couturier’s place tonight in Pittsburgh. Weal will have to wait to get his turn:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann