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Sean Couturier returns for Flyers tonight; Sam Gagner out of lineup

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The news was mostly good out of Flyers' practice this morning, unless your name was Sam Gagner or Steve Mason.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers have been without Sean Couturier for six games, due to a concussion caused by a Zac Rinaldo hit to the head.

Tonight, they finally get their shutdown center back.

Couturier will be in the lineup against the Calgary Flames, centering Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds. The news is not a surprise, as Couturier had skated in practice prior to Tuesday's matchup against the Edmonton Oilers. But concussion recovery is a tricky process, so Couturier's return to the lineup is welcome in more ways than one.

Ron Hextall also had good news regarding Evgeny Medvedev. Per the Inquirer's Sam Carchidi, the defenseman's injury is not serious and he will only miss a few games, though he will obviously not play tonight.

The defensive pairings will remain the same, but Couturier's return necessitated a shuffling of the lines. Sam Gagner drew the short straw, and he will sit tonight in favor of Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier will play right wing on a line with R.J. Umberger and Brayden Schenn. Gagner has struggled defensively in recent games, but Lecavalier has not been much better, making this a questionable call by Dave Hakstol.

Steve Mason will dress for tonight's game, but is battling illness per the Flyers. He'll back up Michal Neuvirth as a result, who receives his second straight start.

Neuvirth was stellar in defeat against the Oilers on Tuesday, and may have drawn the start against Calgary anyway. But Mason's illness makes the decision an easy one for Dave Hakstol.

Lineup (per the Courier-Post's Dave Isaac)

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds

R.J. Umberger - Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier

Chris VandeVelde - Scott Laughton - Ryan White

Michael Del Zotto - Mark Streit

Nick Schultz - Luke Schenn

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason