Giroux has been called a game-time decision by Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette, but whether or not he's on the ice, the Stars know they're in for a tough fight, even if the Flyers enter on a two-game winless streak.
"Yeah, I hope he picks a different day to come back. If he does, we just have to play the same way," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We know they play heavy in the offensive zone. Like Anaheim did, they'll pinch and they keep pressure on you and they forecheck hard. I think that we have to be disciplined and make sure we play a patient defensive game.
"They are aggressive in their offensive zone, and we have to stay below the puck and make sure that we wait for opportunities maybe for a mistake to happen. Offensively, we have to get on their D and make sure we play that grind game against them. I think they're well-rounded, well-coached and for a reason, they're one of the top teams."
-- Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan
Gulutzan will have a game-time decision of his own, as veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas took a puck off his skate during the morning practice and is questionable to play. Should Robidas not be able to go, Adam Pardy will likely step in alongside Sheldon Souray on Dallas' top defensive pairing.
"Robidas is a little bit of an issue right now with his foot. We'll have game-time decisions. I've told Toby Petersen and Adam Pardy to both be ready to play," Gulutzan said. "If [Robidas] comes out, there is going to be some power-play time that is going to have to be taken up and a defenseman will have to come in."
One player who will be on the ice for Dallas tonight is winger Adam Burish, who has missed the last 15 games due to a broken hand. Burish will most likely return on the fourth line, bringing a grittiness and willingness to do the little things like dig pucks out of the corner and block shots.
Dallas heads into this game two days removed from a 5-3 win over Anaheim on Monday night to start a three-game homestand on a positive note. In that victory over the Ducks, the Stars built a 3-0 lead only to see Anaheim draw even before Dallas pulled away in the final period with a pair of goals.
SOG: 31 | +/-: -4
"We know they're up there [in the standings]," Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman said. "They've been playing real good all year. Every team has a couple of bumps on the road. They have a real solid team in the back end and especially up front with [Jaromir] Jagr and all those guys. We know what kind of game it's going to be tonight. It's going to be a hard-working game. They like to hit and play physical."
And even though this is only December, Grossman has no illusions about how big a game this is.
"We need to make a statement here," he said. "Sure, we got some wins together lately, but we still want to keep pushing forward. We want to keep doing better and show our fans here that we can play good at home. It's going to be a big game for us here."