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Flyers hope Giroux will be ready for Stars

by Adam Kimelman /

FLYERS (20-8-4) at STARS (19-12-1)


LAST 10: Philadelphia 7-2-1; Dallas 6-4-0

Season Series: This is the only time the teams will meet this season. The Flyers won both meetings last season, most recently a 3-2 shootout win in Dallas. In that game, played March 19, the Flyers took a 2-0 lead only to see the Stars force overtime on Stephane Robidas' third-period goal. In the shootout, Ville Leino scored the deciding goal for Philadelphia.

Big Story: Can the potential return of Claude Giroux help Philadelphia snap a two-game winless skid?

Team Scope:

Flyers: The news that Giroux may be ready to go was welcome after a spell that has seen the Flyers lose four players to concussions in the last three weeks. Giroux's loss might have been the most painful -- he was leading the League in scoring when he left the lineup Dec. 10.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Giroux received medical clearance to resume all activity Saturday and is considered day-to-day. Giroux practiced Tuesday in his usual place, between Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell, and told that he felt good after being bumped around by teammate Braydon Coburn.

"I try not to think about (coming back), just go day by day," Giroux said, "but obviously, today was pretty good."

Coach Peter Laviolette was happy with what he saw, but would not comment on whether he expected to have Giroux in the lineup Wednesday.


Time is now to act on Giroux

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"These decisions are way further than me, with regard to whether a player is healthy and ready," Laviolette said. "That's why we have a staff in place and conversations through the trainer, general manager, the doctors and everyone else."

Stars: After seeing team captain Brenden Morrow and defenseman Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski return to the lineup during the team's recent five-game trip, Dallas will get another injured player back for Wednesday's game as forward Adam Burish was activated from IR on Tuesday. Burish hasn't played since breaking his right hand in a Nov. 15 game. He has eight points in 16 games, but is the kind of player the opposition hates to play against.

And after watching games for more than a month, he's ready to get back in the lineup.

"Watching is always hard," Burish told the team's website. "You see a loss in San Jose, you want to get out there and help with that. Then you see three big wins in a row that you miss being a part of. … I was really, really bored sitting here for a week, so I was excited when the guys got back."

Who's Hot: Flyers forward Danny Briere has three goals and six assists in his last nine games. … Stars forward Michael Ryder has goals in two straight games and points in three in a row. His 11 goals are tied with Loui Eriksson and Eric Nystrom for the team lead.

Injury Report: Besides Giroux, Flyers forwards Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn are doubtful with concussions. Defensemen Chris Pronger (concussion), Andreas Lilja (ankle) and Erik Gustafsson (wrist) are out. … To make room for Burish, forward Tomas Vincour was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Also out is goalie Kari Lehtonen (groin). Defenseman Philip Larsen is questionable with a lower-body injury.

Stat Pack: The Flyers have won four straight against the Stars, and have lost in Dallas just once in the last 11 seasons, going 2-1-0 with a pair of ties.

Puck Drop: One of the more memorable moments of the debut episode of HBO's "24/7 Flyers-Rangers: Road to the 2012 Winter Classic" was the scene of the Flyers players doing their post-game victory celebration song -- Mac Miller's "Knock Knock." Miller is a Pittsburgh native and Penguins fan, but said he has no problem with the rival Flyers using his song -- and the publicity that's come from being in the HBO spotlight.

"I had been getting texts from friends and tweets saying the Flyers listen to your song every time they win," Miller said in an interview with SportsTalk Philadelphia. "When it came on (HBO), it was kind of surreal. Jaromir Jagr dancing to the song, people on the team using that song to celebrate the win, that's kind of cool. It's something you don't expect to happen."

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