There were some questions about Sean Couturier's health status following this week. He missed Game 4 and clearly wasn't at full strength in Game 5, but he's battled and did whatever he could to help his team stave off elimination.
Ultimately, he couldn't save the, even with a hat trick. The effort was commendable, especially considering it was revealed after the game that he was playing on a torn MCL.
Couturier said he tore his MCL.— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) April 22, 2018
He said it won't require surgery. Would have likely missed 4 weeks if it was the regular season.— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) April 22, 2018
Couturier limped away from practice on Tuesday after colliding with Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas on the ice during routine drills. He missed Game 4, but he returned for Game 5 and scored the game-winning goal.
Couturier once again found the back of the net during Sunday's Game 6 -- three times. He opened the scoring with an unassisted tally on an ugly sequence just over two minutes into the game.
This one from the second period was much, much prettier.
A bad neutral-zone turnover from Patric Hornqvist set Couturier up with a breakaway chance, and he took full advantage. While fighting off Hornqvist's stickwork, Couturier pulled off a sweet move that opened up Matt Murray's five-hole, then deposited the puck for the go-ahead goal. (Matt Murray probably wishes he remembered that he's allowed to use his stick to poke-check the puck.)
Couturier sealed the hat trick with a goal in the third period. He also had two assists.
All in all, he had five goals and nine points in five games against the Penguins, with four of those goals coming post-knee injury. That's an amazing effort.