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Giroux out, Couturier returns for Flyers

Hurricanes could get defenseman Faulk back in lineup

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

FLYERS (26-21-11) at HURRICANES (27-23-10)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; TCN-PH, FS-SE, NHL.TV

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Philadelphia Flyers will be without captain Claude Giroux for the second straight game, but forward Sean Couturier will return from a lower-body injury after missing nine games. 

"[Couturier] has been an important player for us every time he's been in the lineup," Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. "He will play a significant role for us tonight."

Couturier had 16 points in 16 games prior to his injury. 

"It's going to be tough to get right back into it," he said. "I'm going to keep my shifts simple and short and try to build as the game goes on." 

Hakstol will make one substitution on the blue line, inserting Brandon Manning for Evgeny Medvedev.  

"They're two different players," Hakstol said. "Brandon brings a good physical presence for us, a very competitive edge. Carolina is excellent in the offensive zone. They're a heavy, hard team down low. Brandon's battle level is well suited for that type of game." 

Carolina hopes to have defenseman Justin Faulk back in the lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury sustained in practice. Faulk has been a game-time decision the past three games, but he was ruled out after the pregame skate each time. In one instance, Peters said Faulk was ruled out after stretching prior to the game. Peters remains optimistic Tuesday will finally mark his return. 

"I think it's a game-time (decision) and I've got my fingers crossed," Peters said. 

The Flyers have won all three games against the Hurricanes in overtime this season, with rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere playing a key role in each of the game-winners. In his first game of the season with the Flyers, his shot from the point was tipped in by Wayne Simmonds. He scored the overtime winner in the next two games. 

More recently, Gostisbehere is drawing attention for his 15-game point streak, a rookie record for a defenseman and the longest by any defenseman since Chris Chelios of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1995-96. 

"I don't think too much about the streak," Gostisbehere, 22, said. "It is pretty cool to see my teammates excited about it and helping me along the way. It's playing with confidence. You can tell by who's making plays out there, that they have the confidence." 

Here are the projected lineups: 

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

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

Michal Neuvirth
Steve Mason  

Injured: Michael del Zotto (hand), Claude Giroux (upper body), Jordan Weal (upper body)
Scratched: Evgeny Medvedev, R.J. Umberger  

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Phillip Di Giuseppe  
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil  
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm  
Chris Terry - Jay McClement - Riley Nash  

Jaccob Slavin - Ron Hainsey
John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce  
Noah Hanifin - Michal Jordan   

Cam Ward  
Eddie Lack  

Injured: Justin Faulk (leg), James Wisniewski (knee) 
Scratched: Nathan Gerbe, Brad Malone  

Status report: Faulk participated in the morning skate but did not take line rushes with a defensive partner. 

Who's hot: Schenn has three goals and three assists in the past four games. … Jordan Staal has points in 15 of the past 20 games. … Nordstrom has scored in two straight games.


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