DENVER — The Flyers dropped a 2-1 decision in Colorado on Thursday night, but the bigger loss was an injury to Michael Raffl, the impressive rookie winger who has jump-started the team's top line.
Raffl suffered a concussion when he was checked into the boards by Gabriel Landeskog with about three minutes left in the first period. He will not play Saturday in Phoenix, and he is out indefinitely.
After the game, Raffl did not speak with reporters, but he appeared glassy-eyed.
Landeskog was not penalized on the play, and Flyers coach Craig Berube said he thought it was a clean hit.
The Flyers were already without injured winger Matt Read, who was hit in the head in Tuesday’s win in Calgary and sat out Thursday’s game.
“You’re missing two good forwards…but guys have to step up,” Berube said. “Injuries happen, so there’s no sense worrying about it.”
Read is expected to return Saturday.
The loss snapped the Flyers’ four game winning streak; they are 3-1 on the road trip.
Berube was happy with his team’s compete level.
“The team played good. I thought everybody did. We didn’t have any passengers,” he said. “The team showed up and played a good, solid, hard game. It’s tough. You come to Colorado and with the altitude, it’s not easy. I’ve played in it, and it’s not an easy thing….The guys played smart; they kept their shifts short.”
But they ran into a hot goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, who sent them to just their second regulation loss in the last 10 games (7-2-1).
Assuming Read returns, this is how the lines may look Saturday:
- Claude Giroux centering Jake Voracek and Scott Hartnell.
- Brayden Schenn centering Wayne Simmonds and Vinny Lecavalier.
- Sean Couturier centering Read and Steve Downie.
- Adam Hall centering Chris VandeVelde and Zac Rinaldo.
Breakaways. Steve Mason, who made 29 saves and was outstanding, suffered his first regulation loss in the last nine games….Wayne Simmonds’ goal gave him seven tallies in the last five games…..With Raffl out, Brayden Schenn played a career-high 21:40…..Giroux played 23:08 but was held point-less; it marked the first time in nearly two months that he had consecutive point-less games…..Lecavalier hasn’t seemed himself since returning from a back injury.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.