Claude Giroux's rise to NHL superstardom continued on Friday, when he scored a pair of second period goals and helped generate another as the Flyers came back to beat the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1. G was simply jaw-dropping in the second and third periods, and Carey Price and the Habs defenders had no answer for him. With goals and moves like these, how could they?
Recap, video highlights, and some injury news below.
Price was stopping everything the Flyers threw at him in the first, looking like he might just earn another shutout after posting two in recent games. Petteri Nokelain opened the scoring as the first period wound down, capitalizing on a gift from Andrej Meszaros. The Giant had trouble controlling the puck in front, and the Canadiens had a lead it looked like Price might be able to protect.
Peter Laviolette as clearly disappointed with the Flyers' effort in the first, and Giroux said after the game that Lavvy let his feelings be known in the first intermission. Jake Voracek said it was the maddest he's seen the coach. Apparently it worked..
Led by Giroux, the Flyers owned the second period, netting each of their three goals in the frame. With Price looking unbeatable using conventional means, G got creative. He tried to score off the face-off and missed, but after Matt Carle fired the puck off the boards behind the net, Giroux collected it and fired a zero-angle shot directly at Price's backside. Sometimes when a goal goes in off a bank like that, you joke that the shooter meant to do it, as the announcers did today. Watching the replays, there was little doubt Giroux actually did intend to shoot it Gretzky-style off of the goalie.
Much as we love the fact that the Flyers play on Black Friday, it rarely ends well. John Boruk pointed out that this was their first win on the unofficial holiday since 2006.
Andreas Lilja suffered a high ankle sprain, and Paul Holmgren says he could miss three weeks. It's unlikely we'll see Chris Pronger (mysterious virus) or Jagr (groin) before next Friday. JVR (upper body) will be out 1-2 weeks.
Price allowed three goals, but the Flyers easily could've had more had it not been for the Canadiens netminder standing on his proverbial head.
The Flyers outshot the Habs, 18-5, in the decisive second period, a nice recovery from a five-shot first.
Neither team scored on the power play despite there being nine infractions called, including about 1:40+ of two-man advantage time for the Flyers. For their part, the Flyers were without three key power play pieces.
The kill unit looked great, stymying the Canadiens and narrowly missing on some shorty attempts.
Marc-Andre Bourdon again played well, notching two big hits and taking what could be considered a wise stick-slashing penalty to break up a Canadiens rush. It came after
he gave the puck away, but still…
The Flyers head up to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers at 2PM.
Photo by Christopher Szagola-US Presswire