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Giroux plays first game since getting hurt in camp

Flyers captain Claude Giroux is back after an injury and plays nearly 17 minutes in a preseason game against the Rangers.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Flyers captain Claude Giroux. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read more

CLAUDE GIROUX took a squirt from a water bottle and looked skyward toward the scoreboard.

Only a little more than 100 seconds remained in the third period of the Flyers' utterly inconsequential exhibition against a roster resembling the Rangers in uniform only last night.

Giroux had not been on the ice for nearly 8 minutes, part of Craig Berube's plan to manage the captain's workload in his first game of any kind since April 30.

But the Flyers were on the power play. And Giroux wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to try to create chemistry with his new unit.

With Berube's blessing, Giroux hopped over the boards, providing further proof that he is healthy enough to start the regular season a week from tonight in Boston.

In all, Giroux skated 16 minutes, 40 seconds and registered two shots and two hits in his first test since suffering what is thought to be a groin injury when training camp opened on Sept. 19. He played the most of all Flyers forwards, despite taking a total of only five shifts in the third period.

"I forgot how fast the game is," Giroux said. "The first period, I was pretty lost. I wasn't sure what was going on. Slowly, I got the puck moving. It was good to get a game under my belt. I felt good."

Giroux, 26, said there was "nothing negative" about how his body reacted to the game. Well, except, he wasn't entirely pleased with how he played.

Neither was his coach.

"He was rusty. In all areas. He hasn't played," Berube said. "He had some good jump in the first period, I thought. He did some good things.

"He hasn't played. He hasn't even done a whole lot in camp. His hands are always above average, but his skating legs, his positioning [looked rusty]."

For the most part, though, Giroux seemed his usual, spunky self. Connecting everything might not have worked, but he got through it unscathed, which is most important for the Flyers.

"You can practice as much as you want, but a game is another level," Giroux said. "I made some [bad] plays out there and I wasn't too happy about it, but it's the preseason and I'm pretty sure everybody feels like that."