The loss of Chris Pronger and Claude Giroux due to concussions has been well documented over the past week for the Flyers. A bit of good news came out of Denver yesterday when Claude Giroux skated and practiced lightly with the team. Giroux is still out indefinitely and is not expected back until after the Christmas holiday.
Giroux’s replacement, rookie Sean Couturier, took a puck to the head in Saturday’s loss at Boston and was taken to Pennsylvania hospital. Couturier was released on Sunday and is not expected to join the team in Denver. With Giroux and Couturier out, the Flyers have recalled Colorado native Ben Holmstrom, who has played in one game this year for the Flyers.
Despite giving up five goals in Saturday’s 6-0, Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start between the pipes tonight in Denver.
As for the Avalanche, they are coming off of a 2-1 win over the struggling Washington Capitals Saturday. They have won two of their last three and their last five games at home. The Avalanche have primarily played Semyon Varlamov (10-13-1, 3.14 GAA) in net but backup J.S. Giguere (5-4-0, 1.86 GAA) played well in the win over the Capitals. Varlamov is expected to get the start tonight.
Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, former top overall pick, has a three game point streak entering tonight’s game, including his first goal of the year against the Capitals on Staurday.
The puck drops at 9 pm at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The game can be seen on television on Comcast Sportsnet and on the radio on 94.1 WIP.