UPDATE: Sean Couturier will play Tuesday in San Jose, Surprisingly, Morgan Frost is being benched.
Goalie Carter Hart and top-line center Sean Couturier, the Philadelphia Flyers’ most important players, traveled with the team to San Jose, where they will start a four-game road trip Tuesday.
Both took part in Monday’s practice and are getting closer to returning.
That’s the good news.
The bad news: It appears neither will be in the lineup Tuesday against the sinking Sharks (0-10-1).
Sam Ersson (1-2-1, 3.90 GAA, .815 SP), a 5-1 winner Friday over Buffalo in his last start, will be in the nets for the Philadelphia Flyers (5-6-1), who have lost four of their last five.
Couturier did not skate on a regular line at practice Monday, according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. Hart practiced for the first time since he was injured Wednesday in a 5-2 loss to the Sabres.
The lines Monday: Scott Laughton centering Cam Atkinson and Tyson Foerster; Noah Cates centering Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink; Morgan Frost centering Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett; and Ryan Poehling centering Nic Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway.
Hart, 25, has a 4-3 record, a 2.52 GAA, and .913 save percentage. Couturier, 30, who missed all of last season following two back surgeries, got off to an impressive start — eight points (2-6) in 10 games.
The Flyers will try to jump-start their freefalling power play, which is in an 0 for 15 funk, against the lowly Sharks. They are expected to make some personnel changes on the power play Tuesday, with Cates likely going to the top unit.
Laughton was asked if there was a danger the Flyers would look past San Jose and ahead to Friday’s game at more-formidable Anaheim (7-4).
“In our situation, I don’t think we have many trap games,” Laughton said. “Our game is built off work and how how hard we work, and we can’t stray away from that because we’d go south pretty quick.”
As for the Sharks, Laughton said, “We know they’re going to be hungry and we have to be the same. We just got beat 5-0 (by Los Angeles), and I know our guys are excited to get back in the win column.”