Flyers Roll to 5th Win in a Row

Published on December 11th, 2011

NHL scoring leader Claude Giroux suffered a head injury in this game

by Mike del Tufo

Saturday, December 10, 2011
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to increase their winning streak to 5 games.  The win was costly though as the injuries continue to pile up for the Flyers.  Both Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov suffered injuries in this victory.  Prior to the game, they were without Chris Pronger, Brayden Schenn, and Andreas Lilja.

Mathieu Garon started in net for the Lightning and Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:
Giroux-Jagr-Hartnell
Briere-Read-Simmonds
Talbot-JVR-Voracek
Couturier-Zolnierczyk-Rinaldo

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Meszaros-Marshall
Carle-Bourdon

The Lightning struck first as winger Ryan Shannon scored at 11:52 of 1st period.  Less than two minutes before, Bryzgalov had made a great save on former Flyer Steve Downie on what looked like an easy goal.  It was a typical period of play against the Lightning as there was little action due to their defensive system.  Each team only had 6 shots in this period.

The Flyers came alive early in the 2nd period scoring two quick goals in a span of 34 seconds to take a 2-1 lead.  At 2:38, Danny Briere buried it past Garon for his 9th goal of the season.  Briere finished off a 3-on-2 odd-man rush.  Then at 3:12 Jaromir Jagr snuck one past Garon causing Tampa head coach Guy Boucher to use his time-out to settle down his team.  Wayne Simmonds then made it 3-1 at 14:49 when he scored on the power-play.  His backhand shot banked off of Tampa defenseman Brett Clark and in.  The Flyers had one of their better periods of the season notching 3 goals on 16 shots.  They did have a scare though as superstar Claude Giroux skated off after Simmonds accidentally kneed his own teammate in the head.

Giroux was not on the bench for the Flyers to start this period.  Vinny Lecavalier of the Lightning snapped it in on the power-play at 0:55 of the 3rd period to cut the lead to 3-2  Flyers Matt Carle then scored on the power-play at 4:55 to restore the Flyers’ 2-goal lead.  Sergei Bobrovsky replaced Bryzgalov about midway through the period.  Bryzgalov apparently suffered some injury.  Scott Hartnell finally added an empty-netter at 19:32 to make it 5-2.

Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette on the apparent injury to Giroux said, “Certainly any time a player is removed from the lineup it’s disappointing.  You know Claude is off to a terrific start and has been a very important piece for a lot of different reasons for our club, and any time a player like that comes out of the game you’re missing him.  I thought the guys really picked it up for him in the third period and played an excellent defensive period, still created some scoring chances and we were able to win the game and that’s a good thing, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see right now.”

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on Giroux said, “This really is just the precautionary at this stage where we just didn’t want to put him back in there at that time. It’s a game in December, and obviously he is one of our better players, so were just err on the side of caution here… I just spoke with him a minute ago, he feels better so, again we just said to go home and get some rest and we’ll see you tomorrow. Our doctors will meet him tomorrow morning early and we’ll see where were at.”

The Flyers next game is Tuesday in Washington vs. the Capitals.

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