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Flyers' Giroux out vs. Maple Leafs

Philadelphia captain day-to-day with upper-body injury

by Mike Brophy / Correspondent

FLYERS (25-21-11) at MAPLE LEAFS (20-27-9) 

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

TORONTO -- Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux won't play Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre because of an upper-body injury, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. 

Giroux was hit in the head by Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban with 2:05 left in the third period of the Flyers' 3-2 shootout loss to the Canadiens. Giroux remained in the game and was the Flyers' second shooter in the shootout. 

It will be the first game this season Giroux has missed. In 57 games he has 17 goals and leads the Flyers with 49 points. 

Giroux's absence means the Flyers are without their top two centers. Sean Couturier has been out since Feb. 4 because of a lower-body injury. 

With Giroux out it's likely Sam Gagner will re-enter the lineup. He was a scratch Friday. 

The Maple Leafs will do some line juggling Saturday as well, with Peter Holland moving to right wing on the top line in place of Leo Komarov.  

Komarov was suspended three games by the NHL on Friday for a check to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on Thursday. 

Holland has spent time playing both left and right wing as well as center at various times this season. 

"I have been moved around a lot this year but I think it can be a good thing when you can play all three forward positions," said Holland, who has eight goals and 22 points in 51 games. "It can do your career some good. I just show up and just play hockey wherever I might be that night." 

Holland will play on a line with center Nazem Kadri and left wing Michael Grabner. He said he looks forward to the challenge. 

"When you get the chance to play with [Kadri], he's an offensive player so you just try to get him the puck and then get open to get it back from him," Holland said. "You try to create a lot offensively for our team but at the same time be good on the defensive side of the puck." 

Holland, 25, said his role changes depending on what position he is playing. 

"It is a pretty big difference moving from center to the wing," he said. "You go to different spots on the ice for sure. You are not as defensively relied upon when you play the wing. That said, you have to make sure you are doing the right things because if you are the first guy back in the zone you have to assume the center's responsibility until the center can switch with you." 

Toronto coach Mike Babcock praised Holland's talent, but said for him to take the next step in his career he needs to find a way to ratchet his effort up to a more consistent level. 

"He is a big guy with skill," Babcock said. "Skill is great. But an elite drive train that pushes you over the top each and every night is another thing. I talk to Pete about it all the time. I think he can score in tight, he can shoot the puck, he has some toughness to him and he's got lots of ability. Now you've got to learn to do it every single day at an elite level and without prodding. 

"Everyone thinks superstars have real good skill. But superstars have more heart and more soul and more drive train than others. That's what separates them." 

The Maple Leafs are playing their second of four straight home games. They have lost two in a row and five of their past six. 

The Flyers have lost three of their past four games (1-1-2). They did not have a morning skate Saturday. 

Here are the projected lineups: 

Brayden Schenn - Sam Gagner - Wayne Simmonds  
R.J. Umberger - Nick Cousins - Jakub Voracek  
Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Matt Read   
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White   
Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere   
Nick Schultz - Mark Streit   
Evgeny Medvedev - Radko Gudas   
Steve Mason   
Michal Neuvirth   
Injured: Claude Giroux (upper body), Sean Couturier (lower body), Michael Del Zotto (upper body), Jordan Weal (upper body) 
Scratched: Brandon Manning   

Michael Grabner - Nazem Kadri - Peter Holland   
Colin Greening - Mark Arcobello - PA Parenteau 
Shawn Matthias - Nick Spaling - Daniel Winnik   
Rich Clune - Byron Froese - Brad Boyes   

Morgan Rielly - Roman Polak  
Jake Gardiner - Frank Corrado  
Martin Marincin - Viktor Loov   

Jonathan Bernier   
James Reimer  

Injured: Stephane Robidas (lower body), Joffrey Lupul (middle body), James van Riemsdyk (foot fracture), Jared Cowen (hip tightness), Josh Leivo (upper body), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Matt Hunwick (lower body) 
Scratched: None. 
Suspended: Leo Komarov 

Status report: Weal has been a healthy scratch the past three games but also can play center, and is an option to fill in for Giroux. … Gardiner will play his 300th NHL game. He has two goals and four points in the past five games. … Loov will play his second NHL game. … Hunwick is listed as day-to-day. 

Who's hot: Gostisbehere extended his record point streak for rookie defensemen to 14 games with an assist Friday. He has four goals and 13 assists during his streak. … Schenn has three goals and five points in five games. … Parenteau has two goals and four points in three games. … Boyes has one goal and three assists during a four-game point streak. He needs one more point to reach 500 in the NHL. … Arcobello has three goals and four points in three games.

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