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Struggling Flyers lose Couturier for two games amid crucial stretch

Sean Couturier Philadelphia Flyers Sean Couturier - The Canadian Press

The Philadelphia Flyers will be without captain Sean Couturier for at least their next two games due to an upper-body injury.

The update comes as the Flyers could fall out of third place in the Metropolitan Division while idle on Thursday. The Washington Capitals, who sit in the second wild-card spot, are just a point back of Philadelphia with two games in hand as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Couturier, who has been labelled day-to-day, will miss Friday's game against the Buffalo Sabres and Saturday's matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Friday's game will mark the first of a four-game road trip for the Flyers, with matchups against the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers to follow next week. Philadelphia will end their season with home games against the New Jersey Devils and Capitals. 

The 31-year-old Couturier, who was named captain in February, has 11 goals and 36 points in 70 games this season. He sat out two games last month as a healthy scratch. 

The Flyers are winless in their past five games, with head coach John Tortorella voicing his frustration throughout the skid with their playoff hopes falling into jeopardy. 

"It comes down to, ‘Oh, they're going to quit on him.’ It follows me around. And so be it. If a player is going to quit on me, or players are going to quit on me because I'm trying to make them better people or better athletes, you've got the wrong damn coach here, and you're got the wrong damn people here," Tortorella said Wednesday. "My job is, I'm going to push athletes.

"I try to stay away from... I have other things on my mind that I don't give you. I was in control the other night. What I said, I meant. And, quite honestly, when I watch the tape now I'm more concerned than just the second period. Because of, I'm so proud of the team getting here. I guess now the narrative out there is I've heard from other people (is): They're young. They're not supposed to be here. Bulls--t. We're here. We're here. Face it. And let's be better. And I don't think we're ready to be better, and that's my problem with us right now. And it is my job - I have not done a good enough job to get them over the hump. I haven't done a good enough job to make them understand we have to be different now.

"We have to be at a different level. That's my frustration with me, and that's my frustration with the team. And if people can't handle it, so be it."