PHILADELPHIA — The Flyers have been racking up crushing blows much more frequently than points recently and their latest is a real doozy.

Michael Del Zotto, the team's biggest minutes-eating defenseman, will be out long-term.

"It's been an ongoing thing," general manager Ron Hextall said.

Del Zotto left the game at the 12:30 mark of the third period of Saturday's 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. He took Devils forward Kyle Palmieri with him into goalie Michal Neuvirth and never returned to the game.

For the last several weeks Del Zotto has had his left wrist taped up. It appears as though on the play his left arm either went into the top of Neuvirth's helmet or the post at a high speed.

The question becomes whether long-term means months or weeks.

"I don't know yet," Hextall said. "Probably weeks for sure."

There's only eight of them left.

The injury comes on the heels of another situation where the Flyers lose ground in the standings and they are already without No. 2 center Sean Couturier. With the trade deadline a couple weeks away and the Flyers five points out of the last playoff spot, there's no reason to believe Hextall will be a "buyer" on Feb. 29.