SUNRISE, Fla. - Steve Mason made a season-high 38 saves to highlight the Flyers' 3-1 win Tuesday over Florida, but the victory was tempered by the loss of second-line center Sean Couturier.
Couturier, the Flyers' best defensive forward, collided with Florida's Vincent Trocheck and had to be helped off the ice with 18 minutes, 20 seconds left in the second period. He seemed to be favoring his left leg and did not return to action at the BB&T Center.
The injury appears to be serious, and general manager Ron Hextall would say only that he had a lower-body injury and would be reevaluated Wednesday. Couturier was not taken to the hospital, a club spokesman said.
After the game, Hextall said Couturier would travel to Philadelphia to be examined Wednesday. Sources said Couturier injured his left knee. The examination Wednesday figures to determine whether surgery is needed.
Mason, making his fourth straight start, came within 1:51 of the Flyers' first shutout win of the season. Reilly Smith scored on a late tip-in to cut the deficit to 3-1.
"He was the best player on the ice tonight," winger Dale Weise said of Mason.
Mason credited his teammates. "It was a real strong game from the whole team," he said. "I'm going to point to the guys out front. They did a great job of moving bodies and giving me a good lane to the point shots and the shots from the outside."
Wayne Simmonds, Weise, and Nick Cousins scored for the Flyers. The latter two goals were on the power play.
Using his backhand, Weise knocked in a rebound of Travis Konecny's shot, giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead with 6:57 remaining in the second. It was his first goal in 16 games with the Flyers, and it snapped the team's 0-for-10 power-play drought.
"It definitely feels good; it hasn't been a very good start for me," said Weise, who scored 14 goals with Montreal last season. "To get the first one, to get the monkey off your back, you instantly feel lighter and instantly feel better about yourself."
Weise said the drought was weighing on him.
"I don't think I've had a start that poorly offensively at any level - junior, minors, NHL," he said. "I've had some chances that I should have been scoring on. For the first time in a while, I can feel the relief."
Dropped from the top line to the second unit, Simmonds (two points) didn't let it bother him. The right winger opened the scoring by using Konecny as a decoy on a two-on-one and beating Roberto Luongo high into the left corner, putting the Flyers ahead, 1-0, with 8:49 left in the opening period.
"The D took T.K., so I decided to shoot," Simmonds said after scoring his 10th goal, tops on the team.
Mason made 14 saves in the first period, including a point-blank stop on Jaromir Jagr with 1:20 to go in the stanza, and 14 more in a flawless second period.
The Flyers were perfect on special teams - 2 for 2 on the power play, 4 for 4 on the penalty kill - for the first time since a game against the Islanders in 2013.
If Couturier is sidelined for a while, the Flyers could elevate one of their lower-line centers (Cousins, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) to fill his spot. Other possibilities: moving Brayden Schenn back to center or recalling Scott Laughton or Jordan Weal from the Phantoms.
Couturier, who has five goals and eight points in 20 games, is also a valuable penalty killer.
"It looked like he got tangled up. I heard him yelling there," Mason said. "He was obviously in some pain."
"It's tough to lose Coots, but other guys stepped up and did a good job," said coach Dave Hakstol, whose team got two assists from Schenn and five hits and four blocked shots from Radko Gudas.
The Flyers will visit Tampa Bay on Wednesday and there is a chance goalie Anthony Stolarz will make his NHL debut. After an injury to Michal Neuvirth, Stolarz was recalled from the Phantoms on Nov. 14 for the seventh time in his career.
Mason's strong performance Tuesday, however, may keep Stolarz sidelined.