This won’t disappoint the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltenders and defenders: Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist is out for Game 4 of the teams’ first-round playoff series Wednesday because of an upper-body injury.
Coach Mike Sullivan announced the news after Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang missed practice Tuesday. Hornqvist is considered day-to-day.
Letang, as you might expect since he has been dealing with an apparent left hand issue, took a maintenance day.
Hornqvist is constantly getting battered in front of the opponent’s net, so it’s unclear what the injury is.
“I’m not going to go into detail about when it happened or what it is,” Sullivan said.
Hornqvist has a goal and two assists through the first three games of the series.
As for replacing his energy and, in particular, his net-front presence, Sullivan doesn’t have a ready-made plug-in for Hornqvist.
“(Hornqivst) is not an easy guy to replace,” Sullivan said. “He’s a unique player for us, and he brings a lot. I think we’re just going to have to, by committee, try to pick up the pieces and make sure that the opportunities that are given to others that (Hornqvist) normally fills, they’re going to a great opportunity to help this team win a game.
“We believe we have the personnel to do it. We think we have some depth at the forward position. This is one of the reasons why. This is what makes our team competitive, is opportunity presents itself. Guys are going to have to step up. They’re going to get an opportunity to step up, and I think they’re excited about it.
The only extra forwards for now on the roster are Dominik Simon, who filled in for Hornqvist on the top line in practice Tuesday, Josh Jooris and Carter Rowney, who is more of a fourth-line guy and might not be ready to return from injury.
Rookie Zach Aston-Reese has been likened to a younger version of Hornqvist, but he practiced on the fourth line.
Sean Couturier Also Injured
Couturier limped off the ice, joined by trainer Jim McCrossin. Still not back.
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) April 17, 2018
Was a collision with Radko Gudas that sent Couturier off. Couple line mates were huddled around him when McCrossin came out.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) April 17, 2018