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Three Flyers forwards sidelined by flu

by Adam Kimelman
PHILADELPHIA -- Flu season seems to have arrived in the Philadelphia Flyers' locker room.
Philadelphia likely will be without three players for Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs -- forwards Jeff Carter, Daniel Carcillo and Darroll Powe.
"I think it's part of the season and the wear and tear of what goes on," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Not a lot you can do about it. It is what it is."
Carter is tied for the team lead with 28 goals, and it will be the first game he's missed this season. Powe has 15 points in 62 games but is a key member of the team's penalty killing unit. Carcillo has 6 points and 92 penalty minutes in 40 games.
In their place, Blair Betts will return to the lineup after missing four games with a lacerated ring finger. He'll center a fourth line featuring Jody Shelley and rookie Ben Holmstrom, who will make his NHL debut after being called up from Adirondack of the American Hockey League earlier Thursday.
Holmstrom, 23, has 10 goals and 27 points in 60 games, but has excelled as a defensive-minded forward.
"This was a guy that stayed here all summer and worked out and came in in great shape," Laviolette said. "He really impressed a lot of people with his work ethic. He's a real solid defensive player, works extremely hard on the ice. He serves a certain role down on Adirondack killing penalties and taking faceoffs so we'll probably utilize him in that role tonight."
Powe and Betts often have been used as the team's first pairing of forwards on the penalty kill, and Laviolette said he could use Holmstrom in Powe's spot there.
"I think we'll try him on the penalty kill and see how he does," Laviolette said. "I think that's his role down in Adirondack and he was good at it in camp and he's done a good job this year. There's an opportunity for him here."
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound undrafted center was signed in March after playing four seasons at UMass-Lowell.
James van Riemsdyk, who sat out Saturday's loss to Ottawa with a lower-body injury, also should play Thursday, likely on a line with Claude Giroux and Nikolay Zherdev. Other lines look to be Danny Briere between Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell, and Mike Richards centering Kris Versteeg and Andreas Nodl.
Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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