Giroux returns, Voracek hurt in Flyers loss

Flyers' Claude Giroux tries to pass the puck in the first period. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Flyers' Claude Giroux tries to pass the puck in the first period. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 26, 2013

Claude Giroux's return to the lineup was a success Tuesday night, but the Flyers lost his high-scoring linemate, winger Jake Voracek, to a second-period injury as they dropped a 2-1 exhibition game to the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.

Afterward, general manager Paul Holmgren said the injury was "nothing serious" and that Voracek would be reevaluated Wednesday. He expects the winger to play Friday in Washington.

Voracek, who led the Flyers with 22 goals last season, was pulled down from behind by Bryce Salvador with 12 minutes, 55 seconds left in the second period and he crashed into the left post and goalie Cory Schneider. Wincing in pain and rubbing his lower back, Voracek then had his soft backhander saved by Schneider on the ensuing penalty shot. The injury appeared to prevent Voracek from getting any power on the shot.

Shortly thereafter, Voracek went to the locker room and missed the rest of the game. Even before the injury, Voracek probably wasn't going to play Thursday in New Jersey, Holmgren said.

In May, Voracek totaled his Ferrari in a car crash in the Czech Republic.

Giroux had finger surgery Aug. 15 after a bizarre injury on the golf course, and he was dominating as he played in his first exhibition game, centering the top line, with Scott Hartnell and Voracek as his wingers.

"As the game went on, it felt better," Giroux said after winning 9 of 11 faceoffs, collecting an assist, leading all forwards in time on ice (22:04), and firing a game-high nine shots (two on goal).

Kimmo Timonen, who scored the Flyers' lone goal, called Giroux "one of those guys who can miss a few months and still be good. Just a natural player, and he's going to get even better."

Before the game, Giroux was excited about getting some of the kinks out. He conceded that because of his inactivity, it may take a while for him to make quick plays and sharp passes.

"It's going to get there, but it's just going to take [time]," he said. "A game like tonight will help out a lot."

Giroux, the Flyers captain, said he was still building up strength in his hand, but he looked solid on faceoffs and he was his team's most active offensive player. He drilled one shot off the crossbar and came close to scoring on a few other chances.

Giroux, who did not wear extra protection on his right hand, called it "huge to get the legs going. You can practice as much as you want, but it's not the same as in the games."

The Flyers slipped to 1-3-1 in the preseason, and they have scored a total of 11 goals.



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