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Flyers' Giroux will play against Jets

Philadelphia captain says he's fine after leaving game in Arizona

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

JETS (31-38-6) at FLYERS (36-25-13)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; TSN3, CSN-PH, NHL.TV

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux said he would be in the lineup Monday against the Winnipeg Jets at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; TSN3, CSN-PH, NHL.TV).

"I feel fine," Giroux said. "I think there wasn't a question of me playing tonight or not. I feel really good."

Giroux missed the final 2:15 of the third period of their 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday after sustaining a concussion when he was knocked into the boards by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal.

He didn't take part in the Flyers' optional morning skate Monday but said he did not have to take any further medical tests in order to play.

"It wasn't a fun incident but lucky I feel pretty good," Giroux said. "I was a little shaken up but gained some rest. I feel pretty good … I wanted to finish the game [Saturday] but it was safe to make sure I got off there."

Giroux leads the Flyers with 62 points in 71 games and has a goal in three of his past four games.

"It's always scary to see a player down, especially the way he was on the ice," Sean Couturier said. "We're just happy he's all right and hopefully he's good to go tonight."

The Flyers need as much help as they can get in their battle with the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Each team has 85 points but the Flyers have possession of the second wild card based on having played one fewer game than the Red Wings. The Red Wings play the Buffalo Sabres on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP).

The Flyers had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Red Wings on Saturday. The Flyers' game against the Coyotes started well after the Red Wings lost 7-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We squandered an opportunity last game but we're home now," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "We've got to take that, use it for some fuel. We just got off a week road trip. This is a huge game for us."

Steve Mason will start in goal for the sixth straight game and 11th time in the past 12. In the past 10 games Mason is 6-2-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

The Jets, who have seven games left in their season, are relishing their spoiler role.

"They've got a lot of skills, some high-powered forwards like Giroux," Jets center Mark Scheifele said. "You have to be aware of that. They play a solid game. They're going to come hard. They're fighting for a playoff spot. Hopefully we can derail that."

Scheifele is one of 11 skaters in the lineup 24 or younger. Jets coach Paul Maurice said he's watching the younger players closely to see how they could fit in the lineup going forward.

"We're looking for those guys to show us how they would fit, what they have to offer," he said. "So when you get to the summer and you're putting your pieces together and you're looking for your holes to fill, you want these young guys to make the best case for themselves to play in those holes."

Scheifele, who has a Jets-best 24 goals, still has a chance to become the second player to score 30 goals in a season since the franchise moved from Atlanta.

"It's still on my mind," he said. "But the focus is to win hockey games, try to become a better player each and every day. That's the focus."

Here are the projected lineups:

Blake Wheeler - Mark Scheifele - Nikolaj Ehlers
Marko Dano - Andrew Copp - Nic Petan
Drew Stafford - Alexander Burmistrov - Joel Armia
Matt Halischuk - Adam Lowry - Chris Thorburn

Dustin Byfuglien - Ben Chiarot
Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba
Julian Melchiori - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec
Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Tyler Myers (lower body), Toby Enstrom (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (upper body), JC Lipon (upper body), Anthony Peluso (upper body), Bryan Little (upper body), Grant Clitsome (upper body)
Scratched: None

Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Matt Read - Nick Cousins - Sam Gagner
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit
Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere
Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Steve Mason
Anthony Stolarz

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Michael Del Zotto (wrist)
Scratched: Jordan Weal, R.J. Umberger, Evgeny Medvedev

Status report: Pavelec will start in goal for the Jets. … The Flyers had 15 players and two goalies on the ice for their optional skate. Beside Giroux, others staying off the ice were Gudas, Streit, Gostisbehere, Read, White and Gagner.

Who's hot: Wheeler has one goal and four assists during a four-game points streak. ... Schenn has 10 goals and 13 assists in his past 22 games.

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