The Flyers had good news down the middle of the ice Tuesday.
But the good news also gave them a lineup decision.
The team announced that Sean Couturier will return tonight after the first-line center missed the last two games with a lower-body injury. As a result, Morgan Frost will be a healthy scratch for the seventh time this season. The Flyers open their California road swing when they play the Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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The Flyers went 1-1-0 without Couturier. They picked up a 5-1 win last Friday over the Sabres but they definitely missed Couturier the next night in a 5-0 loss to the Kings. Through 10 games, the 30-year-old has put up eight points (two goals, six assists) in 19:32 minutes per game after missing almost 22 months because of two back surgeries.
Frost has sat for more than half of the Flyers' games thus far. It has been a surprising development to this season considering Frost is a young playmaking center on a rebuilding team. He also played in 81 of 82 games last season and led the Flyers in scoring from Jan. 1.
The 24-year-old was the Flyers' final restricted free agent to re-sign this offseason, inking a two-year, $4.2 million contract in early September.
"I don't want to go anywhere, I think I've made that pretty clear," Frost said a little over a week ago. "Even in talking with my agent or whoever else it may be, I never had any intention of that. I can't control what management does, but I obviously didn't ask for a trade, I don't want to get traded. I love it here, I love playing here and I think I can make a big impact here. I think it's just a little bump in the road."
Frost hasn't scored in six games this season. However, he hasn't played poorly, either. He has created some scoring chances and has a plus-1 on-ice even strength goal differential.
San Jose has yet to win (0-10-1) and is surrendering a league-worst 4.91 goals per game. If the Flyers had Frost in the lineup, it would have given him a good opportunity to get on the score sheet and build confidence offensively.
The club also announced that Samuel Ersson will be in net against the Sharks, with Cal Petersen as his backup. According to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz, Carter Hart is on the road trip and practiced Monday. The Flyers' No. 1 goalie is day to day with a mid-body injury.