Giroux Finally Scores as Flyers Win 4-2

Published on November 11th, 2013

By Candice Monhollan

PHILADELPHIA – His smile was visible on the ice and it was still on his face in the postgame.

After a drought of 21 games, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux finally found the back of the net for his first goal of the season Saturday afternoon in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

“It’s been a couple months now and it’s been tough, but getting that one got a lot of weight off,” Giroux said. “To see all the boys on the bench being happy, too, that was really fun. It was a big win for us.”

After several shots and attempts on wide-open nets which Giroux couldn’t bury, the frustration level was apparent, but his teammates could feel he was getting close.

Giroux’s goal not only lifted the pressure on Giroux’s shoulders, but you could see visible relief come from the bench as well as the captain was able to break through.

“I thought [Giroux] played really hard – he’s been playing hard all year – but sometimes you don’t get the bounces,” said forward Wayne Simmonds. “It’s funny, I was actually watching him skate up the ice [after a failed attempt] and he had a little smile on his face as if he knew he was going to get one tonight.

“I knew he was going to score tonight – I think you could kind of feel it. He was getting a million chances all game long and then he finally put that one in.”

It was a big win for the Flyers as it was the first time all season they scored more than two goals on home ice, not to mention finally breaking the goal-less drought at home after being shutout the last two games.

“We didn’t hear a boo all night here at home, which is the first time in a long time,” forward Scott Hartnell said. “Our efforts haven’t been great at home and we want to have a big effort, a 60-minute game, and that’s something that we did tonight and we have to continue that [and] carry that forward.”

For a game featuring the league’s worst offense – the Flyers – against the league’s worst defense – the Oilers – someone eventually had to win, right?

For some time in the first and again in the second period, it seemed neither one would with the sloppy play and boneheaded mistakes, but neither team could capitalize on them.

The Flyers couldn’t muster much after their first power play of the game, but it was shortly afterward when they were able to get on the board.

Defenseman Mark Streit set things up with a perfect pass to forward Jay Rosehill, who re-directed it by Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk at 11:56 of the first period.

It was Streit again with another beauty of a pass, this time to Hartnell as he ripped one past Dubnyk for a 2-0 lead with 2:44 left in the opening frame.

In the closing minutes of the second and with forward Adam Hall in the box for a hook, the Oilers were able to get on the board when David Perron wristed one which hit the post and ricocheted in with 1:35 left.

At 7:59 of the third, Oilers defenseman Anton Belov came across the ice to deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Giroux. Flyers teammates came to his defense and after a brief meeting between officials on the ice, they botched the call and gave Belov a match penalty for a hit to the head.

Replays clearly showed otherwise, but Belov left the game and the Flyers had a five-minute major to work with.

A couple minutes later, another questionable call, this time on Simmonds, evened things up on the ice, and that’s when Giroux’s moment came.

Skating hard down the left wing on a 2-on-2 rush, Giroux made a move around defenseman Andrew Ference and snapped it stick side on Dubnyk at 11:26 of the third to extend the lead to 3-1.

It was a short-lived celebration as 119 seconds later, Taylor Hall, left open in front of goaltender Steve Mason, got the Oilers back within one.

Forward Vinny Lecavalier added the much-needed insurance goal nine seconds after a power play ended at 16:33 to secure the fifth win of the season for the Flyers.

With the team now heading on the road, the win could end up being huge step in the right direction as they try to begin the climb out of the Eastern Conference’s basement.

“We played a real good third period tonight,” said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. “Even with the late goal [from Hall] they got there. We kept playing and kept doing the right things.”

Flyers Claude Giroux | Source:  Andrew King

Flyers Claude Giroux | Source: Andrew King