Claude Giroux moved into a tie for third place in the NHL with his eighth goal on Thursday night, but credit the assist to Jaromir Jagr. The 68 car gained the zone with a head of steam, speeding behind the defense and around the net, then emerged from the corner while the New Jersey players looked on, mesmerized. Jagr slid the puck straight across the ice -- right in front of the goal, between all six Devils -- to a wide open Giroux for the jam.
What an amazing pairing.
But the Flyers couldn't hold on to two leads, allowing 39 shots against one of the most anemic offenses in the NHL. Danny Briere gave them a chance to win the eventual shootout, except whether or not his goal in the extra session was legit or not was instantly up for debate.
New Jersey's netminder was playing aggressive, meeting Briere practically at the faceoff dot. As the orange blur sped toward Jonas Hedberg, the Devils goalie seems to realize his mistake. Caught out of position, Hedberg does the only thing he can, which is flail on the ice. Briere slams on the brakes, waits until the coast is clear, and glides in for the easy goal. Take a look:
Briere described the play:
"He kind of surprised me with the poke check and I almost fell. I wanted to keep moving forward but he kind of surprised me and I stumbled and almost stopped completely. I know the rule. You’re not allowed to go backwards and you’re not allowed to stop completely. To be honest, I was trying to stop completely. I just got surprised and stumbled a little bit."
My initial reaction was he stopped. Had that been the call on the ice, it would have been almost impossible to dispute. As it turned out, the call went the Flyers' way, and when the goal was reviewed it was just as impossible to dispute. Sure looked like he stopped though.