Donald Brashear was added to the Flyers’ injury list after suffering a partial tear of the MCL in his left knee during practice Tuesday, joining injured left wingers John LeClair and Radovan Somik out of the lineup.
The extent of Brashear’s injury was not known, though he is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam.
LeClair, who is out with a broken bone in his left foot, could return during the four-game trip. However, Somik is scheduled to have surgery to repair torn knee cartilage Thursday, and is expected to be out four to six weeks.
“This is the adversity that you grow from,” Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “This is a little bit of a challenge for us, so the players that have been through this before understand it. Somebody’s misfortune is somebody else’s opportunity.”
Left wing Boyd Kane, signed as a free agent in July, will make his NHL debut Thursday after being called up from the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms on Tuesday.
Hitchcock was impressed with Kane, and played him in several exhibition games, but doesn’t expect the 25-year-old Canadian to carry the load.
“We really would like to see everyone step it up,” Hitchcock said. “In other words, to expect one player to replace the players that are missing is unrealistic. What we need is for everyone to move their level up one degree.”
The Flyers blew a 3-0 lead on Saturday and had to settle for a 3-3 tie with Pittsburgh.
“You can’t let points slide away up 3-0,” said Robert Esche, who made 20 saves for the Flyers.
After opening the season with losses at Edmonton and Calgary, the Sharks earned their first win of the season with a 3-2 victory at Minnesota on Sunday.
“We don’t like to lose two in a row, so three would’ve been completely unacceptable,” Ricci said. “We’ve still got to be better overall, but this is a good start.”
The Sharks, who will be playing their first home game of the season, will have to get better at HP Pavilion, where they were just 18-16-5-3 last season.
“Coming home is great, especially in this building,” Ricci added. “We know that if we come out of the gate charging and give our fans something to get behind, they will be there for the entire game and that really is like having a man advantage in our building.”
Thursday’s game will mark the return of Marcus Ragnarsson to San Jose for the first time since he was acquired by Philadelphia last season. The defenseman spent parts of eight seasons with the Sharks.