Nov 14, 2011, 11:29 PM EDT
The Flyers closed out a mini three-game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Peter Laviolette’s team earned five out of a possible six points over the course of the roadie.
The Flyers showed no lingering effects from playing the second half of a back-to-back as they came out of the gates quickly. Jaromir Jagr and Claude Giroux flashed their ridiculous chemistry just 1:19 into the first as Jagr spotted Giroux streaking towards the Hurricane blue line.
Jagr’s pass split a pair of Hurricane defenders, and Giroux was in all alone on a helpless Cam Ward. Giroux did what Giroux does and ho-hum scored another ridiculous breakaway goal.
[Video of both of Giroux's goals after the Jump...]
At this point Giroux is virtually unstoppable on breakaways. I mean, look at this.
The Flyers then got their cycle game going and pinned the Canes into their own zone. Jakub Voracek won a battle behind the Canes net and spotted Max Talbot, who was tapping his stick on the ice asking for the puck. Voracek delivered to Talbot’s tape, and the former Penguin went down to a knee to beat Ward.
The goal was Talbot’s 6th in just 17 games here in the early going. By comparison, he scored 8 goals in 82 last season with Pittsburgh.
The Flyers were well on their way to closing out a near-perfect period, and carrying a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, when James van Riemsdyk, who was playing the point on the power play, fumbled the puck.
With less than 10 seconds left in the period Patrick Dwyer kicked the loose puck into the neutral zone, where Eric Staal picked it up. Staal rushed the puck into the Flyers zone and found Dwyer going to the net for the tap in, beating Sergei Bobrovsky, and cutting the Flyers lead in half.
Conceding a shorthanded goal with less than a minute left in the period is a hockey sin, but Giroux restored the two goal margin with yet another eye-popping goal.
Here’s what I wrote in my notes immediately following Giroux’s second goal “I am not a talented enough writer to describe Giroux’s second goal. Disgusting.” And yes, I did just quote myself. Just watch this video. You’ll understand.
A little over four minutes later the Flyers chased Cam Ward from the game thanks to a power play goal from Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds simply set up shop in front of the Carolina net and redirected a Giroux shot from the half boards.
Former Flyer Brian Boucher replaced Ward, and the Canes pulled to within 4-2 thanks to a Tuomo Ruutu goal, which came on a pretty tic-tac-toe sequence between Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen and finished off by Ruutu. The period ended with the Flyers holding a two goal lead.
They had a chance to extend the lead early in the third when they went on the power play, but Dwyer once again proved a menace on the penalty kill. Jagr made an uncharacteristic bad pass along the Canes blue line, which was picked off by Carolina.
Dwyer sped towards Sergei Bobrovsky and was pulled down before getting a shot off. He was awarded a penalty shot, and beat Bob low to the glove side. It was the second shorty the Flyers gave up in the game, the first time they’ve done that since 2009 in Pittsburgh.
The Flyers held onto the 4-3 lead and then finally found some breathing room thanks to a gorgeous goal from Matt Read. Voracek again did most of the heavy lifting, sending a perfectly timed pass to Read, who sped into the slot and beat Boucher despite being dragged down en route to the net. Read went into the back boards a bit awkwardly, but appeared to be ok despite hitting his knees against the boards.
All in all, despite giving up the two shorthanded goals, the Flyers played well. The upgrade in speed on this team is obvious. Both of Giroux’s goals, along with Read’s, were scored in transition. By in large, they were just quicker to the puck and pressured the Canes defense all night.
- Tonight was Claude Giroux’s first two-goal game of the season and the fifth of his career.
- Chris Pronger had three assists
- Seven Flyers finished the game +2 on the night
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