Nov 25, 2011, 6:19 PM EDT
Claude Giroux’s rise to NHL superstardom continued on Friday, when he scored a pair of second period goals and helped generate another as the Flyers came back to beat the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1. G was simply jaw-dropping in the second and third periods, and Carey Price and the Habs defenders had no answer for him. With goals and moves like these, how could they?
Recap, video highlights, and some injury news below.
Price was stopping everything the Flyers threw at him in the first, looking like he might just earn another shutout after posting two in recent games. Petteri Nokelain opened the scoring as the first period wound down, capitalizing on a gift from Andrej Meszaros. The Giant had trouble controlling the puck in front, and the Canadiens had a lead it looked like Price might be able to protect.
Peter Laviolette as clearly disappointed with the Flyers’ effort in the first, and Giroux said after the game that Lavvy let his feelings be known in the first intermission. Jake Voracek said it was the maddest he’s seen the coach. Apparently it worked..
Led by Giroux, the Flyers owned the second period, netting each of their three goals in the frame. With Price looking unbeatable using conventional means, G got creative. He tried to score off the face-off and missed, but after Matt Carle fired the puck off the boards behind the net, Giroux collected it and fired a zero-angle shot directly at Price’s backside. Sometimes when a goal goes in off a bank like that, you joke that the shooter meant to do it, as the announcers did today. Watching the replays, there was little doubt Giroux actually did intend to shoot it Gretzky-style off of the goalie.
Giroux deserved an assist on the Flyers’ second goal as well, doing his thing, confidently stickhandling through traffic in the Montreal zone. He threaded a pass back to Braydon Coburn, who then found Kimmo Timonen near the net. Kimmo deftly slid a sweet pass back in front, where Jake Voracek slammed it home.
But really, the best part of this highlight was Giroux’s maneuver.
Momentum was clearly in the Flyers favor, and just before the period ended, Giroux once again beat Price with a skill shot. The puck bounced out to him in the left circle and he took a whack at it despite it being up on end. 3-1 Flyers.
Check out Giroux’s reaction here.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t get him the ‘trick despite some great opportunities. Giroux had a few near misses with the Flyers on a two-man advantage in the third, shots seemingly easier than the ones he’d already made, but a combination of bounces, Price, and maybe a little excitement kept the puck out.
Sergei Bobrovsky can’t be blamed for the goal that beat him, and he was solid throughout the rest of the game. Very nice overall play from him over the last two.
Full Video Highlights
Much as we love the fact that the Flyers play on Black Friday, it rarely ends well. John Boruk pointed out that this was their first win on the unofficial holiday since 2006.
Andreas Lilja suffered a high ankle sprain, and Paul Holmgren says he could miss three weeks. It’s unlikely we’ll see Chris Pronger (mysterious virus) or Jagr (groin) before next Friday. JVR (upper body) will be out 1-2 weeks.
Price allowed three goals, but the Flyers easily could’ve had more had it not been for the Canadiens netminder standing on his proverbial head.
The Flyers outshot the Habs, 18-5, in the decisive second period, a nice recovery from a five-shot first.
Neither team scored on the power play despite there being nine infractions called, including about 1:40+ of two-man advantage time for the Flyers. For their part, the Flyers were without three key power play pieces.
The kill unit looked great, stymying the Canadiens and narrowly missing on some shorty attempts.
Marc-Andre Bourdon again played well, notching two big hits and taking what could be considered a wise stick-slashing penalty to break up a Canadiens rush. It came after
he gave the puck away, but still…
The Flyers head up to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers at 2PM.
Photo by Christopher Szagola-US Presswire
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