Flyers Notes: Couturier a game-time decision vs. Devils

Flyers Notes: Couturier a game-time decision vs. Devils

February 15, 2013, 5:45 pm
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NEWARK, N.J. -- Forward Sean Couturier is a game-time decision tonight against the New Jersey Devils, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Couturier has missed the Flyers' last two games because of the flu. He was on the ice for the team's morning skate earlier today, however, which means it's more likely than not that he will play this evening.

"I feel better," Couturier said. "I’ve got my energy back. I’m eating a lot. I’m just trying to refuel."

Couturier said he had a bout with a similar illness a few months ago with the Phantoms. He was sent home from Toronto on Monday to rest and to avoid infecting his teammates.

At Thursday's practice, Couturier skated on the Flyers' fourth line with Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo. Though he averages 18:49 on the ice a night -- second among Flyer forwards -- he could participate in a lesser role tonight, depending on his health.

That said, having Couturier back Friday night would be a boost for the Flyers' penalty kill, which continues to be inconsistent, ranking at 19th in the NHL.

"He’s one of our top [penalty killers]," Claude Giroux said. "And he’s logging a lot of minutes this year. He’s a good player for us."

No change for Hartnell
There's no change in status for Scott Hartnell, who continues to work his way back from a broken left foot, according to Holmgren.

The big winger who was an integral part of the Flyers' top line last season is definitely missed.

"Hartsy’s a big part of our locker room," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He’s a guy that really provides some gel in there, and some continuity between the players, and certainly the game he plays on the ice. He was our leading goal scorer last year. You miss him in a lot of different aspects.

"Hopefully he continues to heal and we can get him back. Anytime you start removing pieces from your lineup it becomes more challenging and we’ve had to deal with a lot of that this year."

Bryz starts
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start tonight as expected.

The Flyers are 4-1-1 over Bryzgalov's last six games.