On a night where Flyers fans consumed close to 21,000 hot dogs on "dollar dog night," Claude Giroux looked like a million bucks. Giroux, 21, netted the winning goal in the shootout with a dazzling maneuver Thursday night to beat the visiting Boston Bruins, 4-3.
The important aspect of last night's victory was the fact that the Flyers took only two penalties. Coach John Stevens has worked hard all season to preach to his players to stay out of the box. Last night, the Flyers took his words to heart.
“Its really big when you can stay out of the box. We only took two penalties, so that gives other guys to play and contribute more,” said Chris Pronger regarding the contributions from the third and fourth lines. Pronger also added his second goal of the season at 12:03 in the first.
The Flyers were also able to escape a late third period phantom hooking call on Simon Gagne to force overtime. Jeff Carter had a chance to end the game with under 30 seconds to play in regulation but was stoned by Boston backup Tuukka Rask. If Carter had scored, it would have been a winning short-handed goal.
The first period dragged for the first eight to 10 minutes on the Flyers end, which was expected coming off the long layoff, but the pace soon hastened by the second half of the first period.
“Tonight’s game was pretty sloppy and hopefully, we got a lot of the kinks out so we can move forward,” Pronger said. “We did what we said we wanted to do coming out of the third, and outplay them. We tried to take it to them, and get to the net and get scoring chances.”
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen had two assists and added a decisive fight. It was his first multi-point game in his NHL career.
“More time on the ice builds confidence,” Tollefsen said after the game. “It’s as simple as that. Two assists and a fight, that’s a good game. I can’t complain. It doesn’t happen that often for me and it felt pretty good.”
Ray Emery played good game between the pipes, stopping 24 shots, including two beautiful sprawling leg saves. Both of those stops were made sliding post to post.
“Personally, I think I battled out there tonight. It was a tough game out there, especially after being off for a while. But it was one of those games where you have to fight to get the win,” Emery said.
Giroux’s shootout goal was his first in the NHL. He was previously 0-for-2. Coach Stevens believes there is a tinkle in his eyes when the game starts to get down to the wire.
“I actually think he (Giroux) flourishes in that spotlight,” Stevens said. "We’ve been talking about it for a while...we’ve used him a few times before, but he’s made good moves and not scored. We decided to give him a shot tonight, and I’m glad I did.”
Arron Asham scored his second goal of the season, his first goal in his first game on the Mike Richards line. Darroll Powe added a rebound goal, also his second.
Captain Mike Richards said after the game that it was huge to get contributions from the third and fourth lines and that it's big toward the psyche of the team to get a win they deserved.