|Flyers without Konecny as they visit Avalanche|
The Philadelphia Flyers knew their three-game road swing through the Western Conference would be a tough one, and it became more arduous when they lost their best player to a concussion.
Forward Travis Konecny, the 22-year-old leading scorer on the team, is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night. Their first game without the young star is Wednesday night at the Colorado Avalanche.
Things got a little worse for Philadelphia when forward Philippe Myers, who is also 22, left Monday's practice with back spasms and could miss Wednesday's game.
"Both guys have played really well for us," Flyers forward Matt Niskanen told reporters. "Hopefully they come back; we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit -- and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."
The Avalanche are familiar with the adversity that comes with injuries. They have 95 man-games lost to injury so far this season, with the top two goaltenders as well as some of their best forwards and defensemen sitting out at times this season.
Defensemen Erik Johnson (lower body) and Cale Makar (upper body) are unlikely to Philadelphia. The team's No. 1 goaltender, Philipp Grubauer, missed Monday's overtime loss to Calgary with a lower-body injury suffered in Boston on Saturday night. He may be on track to return after the Avalanche reassigned goaltender Adam Werner to the AHL's Colorado Eagles.
Colorado could also get back second-line center Nazem Kadri, who has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury suffered in Toronto a week ago. He was practicing on Tuesday while Makar skated on his own in a non-contact jersey.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar told reporters after Tuesday's practice that Makar, the NHL's leading scorer among rookies (eight goals, 20 assists), is doubtful for the game against the Flyers.
Despite the injuries, the Avalanche have surged of late. They are 6-0-1 over the last seven games and rallied from two goals down in the third period to earn a point against the Flames.
"We've had EJ down for a little bit, who's a huge part of our back end, and obviously Cale is also a big part, especially on that power play, but I mean we have guys that can step in," defenseman Ryan Graves, who had a goal Monday, said after the loss to Calgary. "We're confident in our depth and as you see, when we turn it on, we're still a good team regardless of who is in the lineup."
Colorado has thrived in its first 11 games against the Eastern Conference, going 8-1-2 with the only regulation loss coming at home against Toronto. The Avalanche got revenge a week later and has swept the season series from Boston, including handing the Bruins their only regulation loss at home.
The Flyers are 4-4-2 against the Western Conference but have a chance to improve on that with games at Colorado, Minnesota and Winnipeg.
--Field Level Media