As if starting the shortened season with three straight losses wasn't enough, the Philadelphia Flyers were dealt another blow on Wednesday, as forward Scott Hartnell will be out indefinitely with a foot injury, according to Randy Miller of the Courier Post.
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The extent of Hartnell's injury is unknown, but Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told Miller that the team will know more once it knows the results of the tests.
The Flyers have struggled to put the puck in the net so far this season, scoring only three goals in three games. Losing Hartnell certainly won't help. He is a key element to the team's top line, and scored 37 goals a season ago. Losing Hartnell comes on the same day that Brendan Shanahan gave Brayden Schenn a one-game suspension for a hit in Tuesday night's game against the New Jersey Devils. Needless to say, it has not been a fun opening week to the season for the Flyers.
The Flyers will have to find a way to play without Schenn and Hartnell, two players that opened the season on the top line, when they take on the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds appear to be the likely candidates to fill in on either side of center Claude Giroux. Tom Sestito will likely be called up to replace one of the two, but Holmgren has not made any announcement on how he plans to fill the open spots up front.
In a bit of positive news for the Flyers, injured forward Danny Briere was skating in Hartnell's spot at practice today, but isn't expected to be back until the weekend, according to Comcast Sports Network in Philadelphia. The Flyers need Briere to return to action as quickly as possible to cushion the blow of a rough first week of the season.