The Philadelphia Flyers
likely will be without center Claude Giroux
, the League's leading scorer, when they visit the Washington Capitals
Giroux suffered a head injury late in the second period of Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning
when he was kneed in the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds
"Claude is continuing to feel better," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren
. "He will not travel with the team (Monday) and will be seen by our doctor again tomorrow (Tuesday)."
Giroux went to his knees to make a defensive play in the neutral zone with 2:08 left in the second period Saturday. Simmonds was coming from behind Giroux and tried to jump over his teammate. As Simmonds went over Giroux, his knee hit Giroux in the right side of the head.
"He kind of fell and he was right in front of me," Simmonds said Saturday. "I was on the backcheck and I wanted to get into the play and I tried to jump over him. I don't know where I caught him."
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 39
SOG: 81 | +/-: 7
Giroux did not practice Monday with the team, as rookie Sean Couturier
skated in his regular top-line spot between Jaromir Jagr
and Scott Hartnell
. Danny Briere
also took shifts in that spot late in Saturday's game, but it was Couturier who earned praise from coach Peter Laviolette
following the win against the Lightning, the Flyers' fifth straight.
"I thought that he did a really nice job in the third period," Laviolette said. "We double shifted him between that line and his line; you know, young kid, lots of energy. He played extremely well, and I think that's a real positive for our team."
However, Couturier is an 18-year-old with just 8 points in 28 games, and no points in his last 14. Giroux leads the NHL with 39 points, and tops the Flyers with 16 goals and 23 assists. He also plays on the team's top power-play and penalty-killing units.
"He's our best player," Hartnell said Saturday. "He's a big catalyst for us. He's so strong on pucks, he's great defensively. Obviously we know what he can do offensively. If he's out, we're going to miss him big-time."
If Giroux can't play Tuesday, he would be the third member of the team to miss time with a head injury. Pronger will visit noted concussion specialists Dr. Micky Collins and Dr. Joseph Maroon this week to deal with his concussion-like symptoms, and rookie forward Brayden Schenn
is out with a mild concussion.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK