VOORHEES, N.J. - Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn is doubtful for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals after taking a puck in the face on Sunday night.
Coburn's left eye was swollen shut after a deflected puck hit him early in the Flyers' 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday. There was no structural damage to his face, but the blow opened a cut that required over 50 stitches to close.
The Flyers sent Coburn to an ophthalmologist on Monday for tests, though they don't believe his left eye was damaged.
"He is doing better, and we have no reason to think that there is anything wrong with the eye itself," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "Our doctors who were at the game thought he was fine. We just wanted to get it checked out by an actual ophthalmologist.
"Assuming there is no issue there, we'll just wait for the swelling to go down. I would say for the game (Tuesday) he is probably doubtful."
Holmgren said Coburn's flight home Sunday night was quite unpleasant. The defenceman had lightheadedness and vomited, but had gotten over that by Monday.
If Coburn can't go in Game 3, when Philadelphia will try to avoid dropping into an 0-3 hole, Ryan Parent is expected to take his place in the lineup. Parent is a speedy defenceman who played 22 regular-season games and dressed for the playoff opener at Washington.
"I was hoping he was OK, but in the back of your mind you know you have to be ready," the calm, 21-year-old Parent said. "It's part of my personality. I don't really get excited about too much."
Coburn's injury is just the latest blow to the Flyers' defence corps. Philadelphia lost top defenceman Kimmo Timonen on the eve of the series against the Penguins because of a blood clot on his ankle.
Without Timonen and Coburn, the Flyers are without two key players who not only defend well but also help on the power play and the transition game to offence.
"Surprisingly, I don't feel that bad," said 35-year-old Derian Hatcher, who played 28 1/2 minutes in Coburn's absence Sunday. "We will all do what we have to do back there. It's tough with Kimmo being out, and if Cobey doesn't play, obviously it's going to be that much tougher."