For rookie Claude Giroux, it was a game of firsts.
In front of a national audience in a must-win postseason game, many youngsters may be timid. But not Giroux. The rookie out of Gatineau scored his first playoff NHL goal and assist and even had time to get in his first fight, which he won via take down. Giroux powered the Flyers to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and helped notch Philly’s first win in the series. The Flyers remain down 2-1 in the best of seven and will return to the Wachovia Center, Tuesday for game four.
After the Penguins silenced the Flyers’ big guns in games one and two, they failed to continue the trend in game three. Jeff Carter opened scoring early in the first period and a few minutes later, Mike Richards tallied on the power play to make it 2-0. The Flyers’ first multi-goal lead of the series. Simon Gagne netted a shorthanded goal from a beautiful pass from Giroux and rookie Jared Ross scored his first-ever NHL goal for the insurance. The Flyers had five different players score, one from each line, an both a shorty and powerplay tally.
But the win wasn’t without a scare. With less than a minute to play in the opening stanza, a failed defensive assignment by multiple Flyers led to an Evgeni Malkin goal to cut the Flyers’ lead in half. The Pens carried the momentum into the second when Rob Scuderi scored from the point, less than a minute into the middle period.
But the Flyers battled back. Giroux regained the lead for the Flyers, burying a perfect pass from Danny Briere, for the 3-2 lead.
Flyers’ fans were absolutely ballistic in what could be the most energetic and exciting game (other than maybe the Montreal – Bruins series) so far in the post season.