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Flyers captain Giroux questionable against Senators

by Adam Kimelman / NHL.com

SENATORS (16-15-7) at FLYERS (14-18-7)

TV: RDS2, TSN5, CSN-PH

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux will be a game-time decision Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators because of a lower-body injury.

Giroux took part in the final few minutes of the Flyers' morning skate but did little skating. He did not take part in line rushes.

Flyers coach Craig Berube said Giroux would take part in the pregame warm-up and then decide if he feels well enough to play.

"It's about being able to compete out there at a high level," Giroux said. "If I think I can do that I'll be fine."

Giroux sustained a cut to the lower part of the back of his left leg during the Flyers' 2-1 loss Friday to the Carolina Hurricanes. He did not play Saturday against the New Jersey Devils and sat out practice Monday.

During his short time on the ice Tuesday, Giroux did make one attempt at a quick, sharp cut while moving with the puck but appeared to wince after pushing off on his left leg. He said explosiveness off his left leg is one issue from the injury.

"It's not about just one thing," he said. "It's about being able to compete out there. Don't want to go out there and can't skate and can't help the team win."

Berube said Giroux has been given full clearance by the Flyers' medical and training staff, so the decision is Giroux's on whether he plays or not.

"It's about him and how he feels at game-time, warm-up," Berube said. "That's what's going to happen. ... I can't make that decision for him; he has to make that decision. The trainers have done what they need to do ... it's going to go off how he feels."

If Giroux can't play, it's likely Brayden Schenn will move into Giroux's spot on the top line. At the morning skate, the first line featured Schenn with right wing Jakub Voracek and left wing Zac Rinaldo.

Rinaldo played Saturday against New Jersey after sitting out the previous six games. In 32 games this season Rinaldo has one point, and he hasn't scored a goal since the final regular-season game of 2013-14.

Berube said he likes Rinaldo's speed on the top line as a way to create more space in the offensive zone for Schenn and Voracek.

"Energy, physical play ... skating," Berube said. "He's fast, he can get on plays, get on the puck, force turnovers, take the body. Just play a physical game, fast game."

Tuesday marks the Flyers' return home after an eight-game road trip that saw them start 3-0-0 but finish 0-4-1. It also starts a four-game road trip for the Senators.

Ottawa did not have a morning skate, but coach Dave Cameron said that Curtis Lazar, who captained Canada to the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Monday in Toronto, would join the team Tuesday in Philadelphia but not play.

"It's quite an accomplishment," Cameron said, according to the Ottawa Sun. "It's a gold medal for your country in a tournament where you played a huge part. To be a long-term professional hockey player, which Curtis is going to be, there's little steps along the way and this is one of them."

Cameron said the only change to the lineup from the Senators' 4-2 loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Lightning would be in goal; Craig Anderson will start Tuesday against the Flyers.

Here are the projected lineups:

SENATORS

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Colin Greening - David Legwand - Erik Condra

Milan Michalek - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Patrick Wiercioch - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci

Chris Phillips - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Chris Wideman

Injured: Zack Smith (wrist), Chris Neil (knee), Marc Methot (back/hip), Mark Borowiecki (leg)

FLYERS

Zac Rinaldo - Brayden Schenn - Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds

R.J. Umberger - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Vincent Lecavalier

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Nick Schultz - Braydon Coburn

Andrew MacDonald - Michael Del Zotto

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Luke Schenn, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Claude Giroux (lower body)

Status report: Anderson had played four straight games prior to sitting out Sunday against the Lightning. In 14 career games against the Flyers he is 8-4-1 with a 2.95 GAA and .912 save percentage. ... Mason will start his fourth straight game after missing four games with an injury. In eight career games against the Senators he is 5-2-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and two shutouts. … The Flyers sent forward Ryan White to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. He played three AHL games recently during a conditioning stint. It was his first game action since surgery to repair a torn muscle in his chest sustained during offseason conditioning.

Who's hot: MacArthur has two goals and two assists during his four-game point streak. ... Lecavalier has five goals in his past seven games.

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