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At the Rink blog

Habs, Flyers are hurting

Thursday, 12.15.2011 / 1:06 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Habs, Flyers are hurting
BROSSARD, Que. -- Both the Flyers and the Canadiens will be missing their captains when the teams meet tonight at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

The Flyers have been without Chris Pronger for nearly a month due to concussion-type symptoms, as well as knee surgery that would have sidelined him anyway until the end of the month, at the earliest.

Philadelphia also will play its second game without Claude Giroux, the League's leading scorer.

The Flyers are also missing rookie center Brayden Schenn due to a concussion, though he skated with the team Wednesday, the first time since he was injured Dec. 3 against Phoenix. Also working his way back is defenseman Andreas Lilja, out with a high ankle sprain suffered Nov. 25. Neither will play tonight.

Canadiens captain Brian Gionta will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury. He'll be joined as a spectator tonight by forward Travis Moen, who left Tuesday's 5-3 win against the Islanders with a lower-body injury. Also, defenseman Raphael Diaz is out with an illness.

They'll be replaced by AHL call-up Michael Blunden and Alexei Emelin, the hard-hitting rookie who was a healthy scratch Tuesday.

Those injuries are added to the long-term absences of defenseman Andrei Markov and centers Scott Gomez and Ryan White.

Here's which healthy players will be dressing for the teams tonight, and how the forward lines and defense pairings could look.

Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals