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Flyers' Giroux will be game-time decision

by Steve Hunt /
DALLAS -- Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, who has missed the last four games with a concussion, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars.

Giroux, who is currently tied for the NHL lead in points (16-23-39), last played on Dec. 10 against Tampa Bay, contributing a pair of assists in a 5-2 win over the Lightning.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said that he didn't know whether or not the center of his top line would be available for tonight's contest at American Airlines Center.

Philadelphia did not have a morning skate with an early start time due to the game being nationally televised on Versus, but Giroux was one of five Flyers to skate after a short team meeting in their locker room.

Should he make his return tonight in the Lone Star State, one of his teammates who would be the happiest to see him back is linemate Jaromir Jagr.

"Not only he is a great player, we don't have that many centermen left," Jagr said. "We have guys playing out of position, guys that have never played centerman playing there. I think that's the worst [part of it]. If maybe we had other centermen to replace him, maybe it's not the same, but it's a lot better than if you have to move guys around to play center. That's what we've got right now, and it's kind of tough.”

Philadelphia will hit the ice tonight on a two-game winless streak, which comes on the heels of their seven-game winning streak that ended with a 6-0 home loss to Boston on Saturday night. The Flyers are currently the best road team in the league with a 12-3-2 record.

One sign that Giroux could be returning tonight is that Ben Holmstrom, who has been centering the Flyers' fourth line, was one of the five players skating after the team meeting. If Holmstrom is scratched, that would likely mean Giroux is back to center the top line, which would likely shift Danny Briere to the second line, Maxime Talbot to the third and Matt Read to center the fourth.
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