Clement: Giroux snub a 'blessing in disguise' for the Flyers
Claude Giroux's third-period goal proved to be a catalyst in the Flyers' 3-2 OT victory over the Devils on Tuesday night. (USA Today Images)
NEWARK, N.J. -- Claude Giroux admitted he was hurt, motivated and wanted to take his frustrations out on someone.
Not making the Olympic squad for Team Canada will do that to a world-class athlete (see story).
“Yeah, any time someone kind of takes something away from you, you want to prove them wrong," the Flyers' captain said after scoring a game-tying, third-period goal during the team’s 3-2 overtime win against the Devils on Tuesday night (see story). “But I’ve put that behind. I’ve got to move on and keep playing my game. It’s a fun game out there. I’m not going to stress myself on that.”
Giroux played a very tough 22:15 against the Devils and helped the team to pick up another two points on the road, where the Flyers are now over .500 (11-10-4) for the first time this season.
“I thought Giroux played an outstanding game, start to finish,” coach Craig Berube said. “He was physical. He competed and did everything possible out there. He put everything he had on the ice.”
Giroux's wrist shot from atop the left circle tied it at 1-1 at 5:18 of the third period.
“Anytime when Hartsy (Scott Hartnell) and Simmer (Wayne Simmonds) are in front of the net, they are so good at the net, I don’t have to shoot it hard,” Giroux said. “Wayne is pretty good in front of the net to get those rebounds. I just try to get it through. That was basically what I was trying to do.”
Hartnell gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead four minutes later, but the Devils tied it in the final 30 seconds to send the game into overtime before Brayden Schenn beat Marty Brodeur off the rush for the victory.
New Jersey scored in the first minute of the game, as well, to anger the Flyers.
“That’s the difference from the start of the year,” Giroux said. “They would get a goal and we’d panic or try to change something different. Now we keep our composure.
“We believe in the system and in our players. We know if we do the right things out there, we’re going to win. We go out there and do it.”
Linemate Jakub Voracek, who assisted on Giroux’s 13th goal -- which happened to also be a power-play goal -- said Giroux was possessed in the game.
Which was a given -- Giroux seemed devastated earlier in the morning when he found out he wasn’t chosen for Team Canada for the Sochi Olympics.
“He was strong on puck today in battles,” Voracek said. “He doesn’t take it the wrong way, doesn’t sit back and cry about it. He goes out and works even harder. That’s what makes him a special player.”
A player still wounded.
“I’ve kind of accepted I won’t be on the team and that’s fine. There’s a lot of good players out there,” Giroux said. “It can’t be an easy job for them to pick all those players.
“Right now, I’ll just work to help the Flyers keep winning games.”