Dec 17, 2011, 4:27 PM EDT
Well, there goes the Flyers’ seven-game winning streak, and perhaps Sean Couturier too. The Boston Bruins dominated the Flyers, beating them 6-0 in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins, who were seeking to avenge a season-opening loss to the Flyers, wasted little time establishing their dominance. In fact, it took just 27 seconds. Benoit Pouliot redirected a pass from Rich Peverley past Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryz looked slow in reacting to the deflection – he may not have seen it until late – but his delayed reaction was a harbinger of things to come.
Jody Shelley, sensing the Flyers lacked a little jump, dropped the gloves with Zdeno Chara. I scored the fight a draw, but the important result was that Chara would be off the ice serving his five for fighting.
Unfortunately, Boston didn’t miss Chara at all, scoring just 37 seconds after their captain went to the penalty box. Bryz made a strong kick save, perhaps too strong, as the puck made its way back to the point, where former Flyer Dennis Seidenberg collected the rebound and fired the puck on net. Bryz made the initial save but Daniel Paille was on the doorstep and deposited the rebound to put the B’s up 2-0.
Video of the Couturier injury after the Jump…
Following the goal Peter Laviolette did what Peter Laviolette does – he called a timeout. The Voracek-Talbot-JVR line came out and had a strong shift, but were unable to beat Tim Thomas.
Things only got worse as the Flyers were called for too many men on the ice. Chara hammered a slap shot through a maze of bodies and beat Bryzgalov to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
The Bruins then made it 4-0 thanks to a two-man advantage. Scott Hartnell took a tripping penalty and just four seconds later Braydon Coburn was whistled for delay of game. Milan Lucic cashed in, scoring the fourth and final goal of the period.
Lavvy, having seen enough, and trying to jumpstart his moribund team, pulled Bryz in favor of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Just when you figured things could not get any worse, they did. Kimmo Timonen wound and fired a slap shot from the point. Rookie center Sean Couturier, filling in on the first line for the concussed Claude Giroux, was planted in front of the net trying to screen Thomas. Timonen’s shot was rising when it struck Couturier in the back of the helmet.
The rookie immediately fell to the ice and was tended to by head trainer Jim McCrossin. The 19-year-old eventually skated off the ice, but did not return to the game. The Flyers, already reeling from concussions suffered by Chris Pronger and Giroux, may lose yet another player to a head injury.
That’s three separate head injuries, all occurring under somewhat freak circumstances. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, Pronger’s concussion likely came as a result of taking a stick to the eye. Giroux was kneed in the head by his own teammate. And now Couturier took a slap shot to the back of the head.
In reality, this game was over at 4-0, but Nathan Horton tacked on a fifth goal in the second period, and Tyler Seguin closed out the scoring in the third.
It was a rough afternoon all around. We’ll obviously have more on Couturier’s diagnosis as it becomes available.
The Flyers will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday night as they travel to Denver to face the Avalanche.
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