Giroux quickly gets his game back in order to spark Flyers’ win

Claude Giroux

PHILADELPHIA – Claude Giroux clearly was unhappy with his performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 overtime win at Carolina.

It didn’t take long to fix any problems.

Giroux scored one goal and assisted on two others Thursday night in a 5-3 win over Montreal at the Wells Fargo Center.

The performance earned him first star of the game.

“A little bit better,’’ Giroux conceded. “When you help the team win, that’s what you’re trying to do. I think everybody did a good job tonight.

“When it’s not going your way, when you’re not playing the way you want to, you have to kind of challenge yourself. I got Jake (Voracek) and Wayne (Simmonds) yelling at me a couple times. That kind of gets you going a little bit.

Giroux’s linemate, Travis Konecny, scored the Flyers’ first and fourth goals.

The 20-year-old right wing is using his speed and skill to get himself in position for pinpoint passes from Giroux and Sean Couturier.

Konecny scored off a perfect feed from Giroux to get a puck past the Habs’ Carey Price for a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into the second period, then swooped in behind Price to clean up a Shayne Gostisbehere rebound at 1:28 of the third period to make it 4-2.

Giroux has had some speedy wings over the years but Konecny might have as much raw quickness as any of them.

“He battles,’’ Giroux said. “He’s got speed, he’s got a lot of attitude on him. He’s fun to play with because he beats guys one on one. He usually makes the right play.’’

Konecny’s in-your-face attitude has been more prominent of late, too.

“I think last year we saw a little bit of it,’’ Giroux said. “He gets on that forecheck, finishes his hit, gets loose pucks. This year you can see it, he’s a little more comfortable. That’s just normal.’’

Getting under an opponent’s skin can be a valuable asset.

“We laugh about it a bit,’’ Giroux said. “He’s not the biggest guy but he’s going to get in your face and make some good plays.’’

Konecny’s speed makes the game easier for Giroux and Couturier, too.

“Yeah, he creates a lot of room for us,’’ Giroux said. “Guys respect his speed and they have to back off a bit.’’

Added Gostisbehere: “When he’s put in the right situations, I think TK is going to flourish. He’s a confident player, you can see him making plays. He’s fitting well with ‘Coots’ and ‘G’ and I know they’re building him up to go out there and make those plays.’’

Konecny always tends to downplay his accomplishments.

“I just know if I use my speed to get open, G and Coots are more than likely going to find me and that’s what they tell me, too,’’ Konecny said. “Just use my speed and try to push the ‘D’ back and it gives them more space so that’s what I do.’’

The Flyers scored twice on the power play.

Jack Voracek’s power-play goal at 33 seconds of the third period broke a 2-2 tie. Voracek’s unscreened shot from above the right dot beat Price to the near post.

The Flyers gave up a shorthanded goal at 9:09 of the second period (their ninth of the season, tied for worst in the NHL) but came right back 28 seconds later on the same power play when Giroux connected.

Brian Elliott picked up his second straight win in goal for the Flyers, who gained two points on the Islanders (4-3 losers in Buffalo) and the Devils (3-2 home losers to Calgary), who are now just one point up on the Flyers for the coveted third spot in the Metro Division.

“It’s definitely nice to check up there (scoreboard) and see that other teams have lost,’’ Gostisbehere said. “But we’re more focused on ourselves and the task at hand. I think we took care of it tonight.’’

Montreal scored with 2:54 to play when Scott Laughton took a penalty and the Canadiens pulled Price in favor of a sixth attacker. Brendan Gallagher scored the goal.

But Ivan Provorov fired a 182-foot shot into Montreal’s empty net with 55.9 seconds to play.


Weise returns


Dale Weise, scratched for 13 straight games, made his first appearance since a Jan. 4 game against the Islanders. . .Laughton was 10 for 11 on faceoffs.

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About Wayne Fish 2409 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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