Feb 18, 2013, 3:45 PM EST
It wasn’t quite his opening shift in Game 6 of last season’s quarterfinals, but Claude Giroux knows how to make an entrance.
Two days after ripping his teammates for “going through the motions,” Giroux threw his body around, corralled a slap-pass from Matt Read and beat goaltender Evgeni Nabokov just 26 seconds into the Flyers’ 7-0 rout of the Islanders on Monday afternoon.
The early marker snapped a seven-game goal scoring drought for Giroux, who hadn’t hit the back of the net since Feb. 2 vs. Carolina.
He added another with 5:15 to play in the second period — niftily maneuvering the puck around Nabokov and the goal post — and would have had a third had Isles defenseman Travis Homonic not played goalie, allowing Matt Read a diving rebound cash-in on an open net earlier in the period.
Then there was the other winger on the Giroux-Read line, Jake Voracek, who recorded a career-high four assists.
Brayden Schenn from Voracek, Danny Briere from Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo from a driving-to-the-net-and-crashing-into-the-boards Harry Zolnierczyk and Briere off the back crossbar accounted for the Flyers’ other four goals.
While his teammates were lighting up his fellow countryman, Ilya Bryzgalov was quietly stellar in net, stopping 19 Islanders shots for his first shutout of the season, eighth as a Flyer and 30th of his career. He was nearly always in position and rarely required substantial movement to blank an Islanders attack led by John Tavares, who had scored 11 goals in his last 10 games.
Big picture stuff
– The win is only the Flyers’ second against a team in their own division in six tries.
– The Orange and Black are now 3-8 this season on the road. The win gives them an opportunity to finish this season-long, six-game road trip at an even 3-3.
– Bryz’s clean sheet also helped to extend the Flyers’ string of success on the
penalty kill. Peter Laviolette’s team is a perfect 19-for-19 in its
last six games and has killed off 36 of its opponents last 38 power
plays in the last 10 games. To borrow a Coatsey-ism, they were “up on ther skates.”
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