The Flyers entered Saturday averaging two goals per game, which put them tied for 26th in the 30-team NHL.
Erskine did not get a penalty for the hit, but he received a three-game suspension from the NHL on Saturday, and it will cost him $24,324 in lost salary.
Simmonds, who had a career-high 28 goals last season, was hit in the nose, and blood dripped onto the ice. Erskine was fortunate not to receive a five-minute major and a game misconduct, which could have altered the game.
Without Simmonds, rookie Tye McGinn moved to the front line, alongside Claude Giroux and Danny Briere. McGinn spent a lot of time with that unit Friday.
"He's a big guy who can get to the net and be physical," Laviolette said.
Said McGinn: "To get a chance to even play in the NHL is a great feeling, and to play with some special players is even better."
Flyers Wives Carnival
The 36th annual Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival will be held at the Wells Fargo Center March 3 from 1:30 to 6 p.m.
Since its inception, the carnival has raised more than $25 million for local charities, a Flyers spokeswoman said. Last year, it raised $800,000 for about 150 charities.
Tickets are available at 1-800-298-4200 or online at Comcasttix.com.