Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn will sit out Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference final Thursday after a puck nearly hit his left eye on Sunday.
The second-year NHLer needed 50 stitches to close a gash in a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 2 when Hal Gill's point shot deflected off the stick of Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin and struck Coburn.
Coburn’s swollen left eye is open but the 23-year-old said he is not fit for game action.
"Coby’s out," coach John Stevens told reporters at Thursday's morning skate.
"We were hopeful yesterday. He got on the ice a little bit, but is still not ready to play. I think he’s getting closer, but definitely not playing tonight … we’re not going to put anybody back in the lineup if we don’t feel they’re ready to play, and clearly that’s the case right now.
"He’s a young kid that wants to play. He’s really kind of distraught right now that he’s not able to play. But we’re hopeful we’ll win this game today, and we have a couple of days before we play again, and hopefully we can get him back."
Coburn set career highs in every major category this season, posting nine goals and 27 assists for 36 points with a plus-17 rating in 78 games. He has six assists in 14 playoff games.
Rookie Ryan Parent, 21, replaced Coburn in the lineup for Game 3 on Tuesday and logged 18 minutes of ice time in a 4-1 loss to the Penguins, who lead 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Stevens is also without the services of veteran blue-liner Kimmo Timonen, who is out for the rest of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs with a blood clot in his left ankle.
Timonen had manned the power play from the point for the Flyers as well as playing effective defence in the post-season. In 12 playoff games, he recorded six assists and had a plus-5 rating.
"It’s hard on us not having these guys in here," said Stevens of Coburn and Timonen. "Having been a player and as soon as you’re injured, you’re removed from going on in the competition with your teammates, it’s tough. But [Coburn’s] got a great future, and he’s been a big part of our success this year. And as soon as he’s ready, we’ll get him back in, but not at the expense of his health."
Stevens will also make rookie forward Steve Downie a healthy scratch Thursday, replacing him with Patrick Thoresen.
For the Penguins, Gary Roberts is out for a second straight game due to pneumonia. Penguins coach Michel Therrien said it was a mild case and the veteran winger was on medication.
Game 4 will be broadcast on CBC-TV and streamed live at CBCSports.ca at 7:30 p.m. ET.