Flyers’ Couturier eyes return, Giroux out vs. Hurricanes

While Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux has been ruled out of Tuesday's tilt versus Carolina, fellow forward Sean Couturier could be making an early return from a lower-body injury.
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Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier told reporters that he’s ready to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s road game against the Metropolitan Division-rival Carolina Hurricanes.

Couturier, who was expected to miss approximately four weeks with a lower-body injury, last competed in Philadelphia’s 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Feb. 4. The 23-year-old center was just two games removed from sitting out two weeks due to the injury. 

While coach Dave Hakstol told Philly.com that he’ll make a decision on Couturier’s availability on Tuesday, the team didn’t wait long to announce that captain Claude Giroux will sit out his second straight game due to an upper-body injury.

Giroux was elbowed in the head by defenseman P.K. Subban during the Flyers’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. The 28-year-old Giroux has collected 16 goals and 33 assists for a team-leading 49 points in 57 games this season.

Couturier has scored nine goals and set up 15 others in 40 contests this season for Philadelphia (26-21-11), which has dropped six of nine games (3-3-3) in his absence.

The Flyers reside one point behind Carolina (27-23-10) as the two chase the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.