PHILADELPHIA – The good news for the Flyers is Owen Tippett was at least able to skate a bit on Sunday morning prior to the game against Ottawa.
The not-so-good news was Tippett, who suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s 7-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, was not able to play in the matinee game against the Senators at the Wells Fargo Center.
However, Tippett is now listed as the old “day-to-day,” which means he could be back as early as Tuesday when Tampa Bay hits town.
Right now Tippett is the hottest goal-scorer on the Flyers, having hit the back of the net six times in the last eight games to give him 18 for the season.
While there was no official confirmation on the nature of Tippett’s injury, judging by video of the incident (in which he bumped with Colorado’s Jonathan Drouin in the second period) it appears the Flyer forward may have sustained an injury to his ankle.
The Flyers are off on Monday and then play a three-game stretch against Tampa Bay (home), Detroit (away) and Boston (home).
With 18 goals, Tippett now stands second on the Flyers’ scoring list.
He’s been important in the Flyers’ rise to near the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.
“He’s very important,” Egor Zamula said after Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Ottawa. “Especially in January and February when you’re pushing for a good (playoff) spot. So (missing him) is bad.”
Added goaltender Samuel Ersson: “I think everyone of late has seen how good he’s been. Especially the goals he’s been able to score. He’s a big part of this. Obviously we miss him but when he’s not here, other guys have to step up.”
The Flyers’ late rally in Saturday’s loss to Colorado points out why they could be a tough opponent should they make the playoffs.
Down 5-2 after two periods, the Flyers rebounded with a pair of goals to get within one before eventually giving up a back-breaking sixth goal.
Still, not just mailing it in for the third period was a good sign for everyone connected to the team.
“We never think like that (giving up),” Cam Atkinson said. “It’s never our mentality, no matter how much we’re down. We showed it against Detroit (a 7-6 shootout loss at Detroit on Dec. 22) when we were down by five.
“So there’s no quit in this team. That’s what I like about this group. We’ve been in these situations before. We said in between the second and third periods, if we get one they’re going to start to tighten up. I thought we did a good job of trying to get back into it.”
>Giroux still welcomed
Former Flyer great Claude Giroux, now a Senator, received another warm welcome when he returned to Philadelphia for Sunday’s game.
Giroux, 36, was the Flyers’ longest tenured captain (2013-2022) and ranks high on several team offensive categories.
Currently, he’s in the middle year of a three-year contract he signed with Ottawa on July 13, 2022. He’s still a productive player, having registered 13 goals/38 points in 41 games with an even plus-minus mark.
For his career, he’s played in 1,141 games with 342 goals and 698 assists for 1,040 points.
Team-wise, Giroux has to be disappointed with the Senators’ performance this season. The Senators began Sunday’s play dead-last in the Eastern Conference, trailing even an underachieving Columbus Blue Jacket team by four points.