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.
Hexy says Medvedev will be out a couple days. Not serious.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 5, 2015
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.
Steve Mason will not participate in today’s morning skate. He is feeling under the weather but will be available for tonight's game.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 5, 2015
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