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National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Flyers' Sean Couturier played with torn MCL

26 April 2018

Sean Couturier, usually the Flyers' first-line center, returned to the lineup Friday but was placed on the third line between wingers Scott Laughton and Wayne Simmonds.

The Flyers opened up a 7-1 lead in shots, but the Penguins stormed back.

Just 47 seconds later, the Flyers had another defensive breakdown, leaving Carl Hagelin alone in front.

"It's tough, because we lost, obviously", Couturier said.

The star center scored the game-winning goal in Game 5 against the Penguins and had a hat trick and two assists in Sunday's Game 6 loss.

The Penguins will now play the victor of the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Rowney got into the line up for the first time in the post-season Sunday afternoon and played eight and a half minutes. Through the action packed first six minutes the Flyers had out-shot Pittsburgh 7-1, with a 14-1 edge in attempts as well.

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The Flyers killed off the remainder of the penalty to start the second and Matt Read got Couturier the puck ahead of the field on a breakaway. "I don't think I've ever had a game like this, where they're just going in like that".

In any case, Penguins players were clearly irked by the actions of the Philadelphia faithful, as evidenced by their reactions on the bench. Olli Maatta's point shot made its way through traffic and got behind Neuvirth.

A special silence that left everyone, including Guentzel, with their jaws dropped at his four-goal game. 8, Pittsburgh, Guentzel 3 (Hornqvist, Maatta), 19:06.

Just 30 seconds into the third period, the Penguins struck again off a turnover. Washington leads that series 3-2.

That performance from a healthy player is impressive enough, but Couturier playing through an injury to have two great games like that is something else.

Following a regular season where they scored on 25.7 percent of all power-play opportunities (the league's strongest), the Penguins have been able to score on 20.8 percent of their postseason power plays. Crosby has 10 points in the series while Jake Guentzel is right behind him with eight points. However, they have now won 11 straight games after losing their previous contest by two or more. Even in game five he was mostly very good but was part of the reason for giving up the second goal short-handed.

National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Flyers' Sean Couturier played with torn MCL