Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, trying to get a couple of his struggling players untracked, has formed a version of the French Connection: Sean Couturier centering Danny Briere and Simon Gagne.

At Tuesday's practice in Voorhees, Briere was dropped from the second to third line, while Matt Read replaced him on a unit with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

"I like it. We can speak French and get some strategy going without the other team knowing it," said a smiling Couturier.

The new lines will face the Devils on Wednesday in New Jersey.

"When you're not winning games, there's going to be changes," said Briere, who is without a goal in his last 10 games. "Hopefully, with the other two French guys, we can start to do something. I played with Simon quite a bit before, so at least it's someone that I know, and we've got some young legs with us."

Couturier, 20, has not scored a goal in his last 19 games.

"He's a force defensively, and that's his primary role on this team," Briere said.

"Sean has played well for us at times," coach Peter Laviolette said, "and other times he's probably looking for more consistency in his game."

Couturier lives with Briere and the veteran forward's children in Haddonfield. Couturier says he leans on Briere, 35, for advice.

"We're pretty close, and I can talk to him about pretty much anything and he'll be there for me," Couturier said. "He's a great mentor.

"He's been around for a while and has a lot of experience. He's been through ups and downs early on in his career, so he's a great example to look up to."

Breakaways. The Flyers have lost five straight in New Jersey, including last year's playoffs. . . . In a surprising move, the Flyers sent defenseman Erik Gustafsson back to the Phantoms. . . . Kimmo Timonen had a maintenance day and did not practice. . . . The Flyers sent Adirondack right winger Matt Ford (13 points in 35 games) to Columbus for future considerations. He was assigned to Springfield.