Saturday, March 29, 2014
Sports News

Giroux Leads Way As Flyers End Losing Skid

Send a link to a friend  Share

[March 29, 2014]  PHILADELPHIA  When the Philadelphia Flyers needed someone to step up and stop their losing skid, they turned to their captain.

Center Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

Center Vincent Lecavalier, left winger Scott Hartnell and right winger Wayne Simmonds also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Philadelphia (39-27-7) closed within one point of the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

"I think we need to get better and keep playing as we are," Giroux said. "I think we need to take it as a learning step. Obviously we know we can't play like (the last two games)."

Left winger James van Riemsdyk and center Dave Bolland scored goals for the Maple Leafs, who lost their seventh straight game. The Leafs (36-31-8) have fallen out of the top eight in the playoff standings in the Eastern Conference.

"There's no easy ones in the NHL and this one is real tough because of the situation we continue to put ourselves in," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "They've proven before that they can play the game at a high level."


Hartnell scored a power-play goal to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead midway through the second period. Giroux and defenseman Kimmo Timonen set this one up as well as the first goal by Lecavalier. Giroux again won the faceoff and passed to Timonen. This time, Timonen ripped a slap shot and Hartnell deflected it past goaltender Jonathan Bernier for his 20th goal of the season.

"We wanted to have some jump, get on their defense, get some forechecks going," Hartnell said. "For 60 minutes, I think we did a great job of that and it showed at the end of the night."

Giroux extended the lead to 3-1 on his 25th goal early in the third period. A turnover by van Riemsdyk led to the goal. Giroux blasted a shot into the top shelf for his 25th goal of the season. Bolland cut it to 3-2 just 91 seconds later. But Simmonds scored his 25th of the season a few minutes later to give the Flyers a two-goal cushion.

Van Riemsdyk scored just four seconds into the second period to tie it at 1. He broke in alone and beat goaltender Steve Mason for his 30th goal. Van Riemsdyk's goal tied an NHL record for fastest to start a period. Two players had done it before.

"Wow," van Riemsdyk said of the record, which didn't lessen the disappointment of the loss.

[to top of second column]

The Flyers took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Lecavalier blasted a one-timer from the right circle into the top corner just three seconds into a two-man advantage. It was Lecavalier's 399th career goal, including 16 this season. Giroux won the faceoff and passed to Timonen, who found Lecavalier.

"It was a great play by Kimmo," Lecavalier said. "He actually called it kind of before because their forward got kicked out and it was a defenseman taking the draw so he told me to be ready, so he made a perfect play. And obviously Giroux with the faceoff, it was a perfect play by those two guys and I just knew that if I could get it high that I'd have a chance to score."

A goal for Toronto in the first period was waived off because left winger Joffrey Lupul made incidental conduct with Mason.

NOTES: Maple Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk was traded from Philadelphia to Toronto for D Luke Schenn before last season. ... Flyers C Vincent Lecavalier was demoted to the fourth line before the game. ... Lecavalier's goal was only the second for Philadelphia this season during a five-on-three advantage. ... The Leafs beat the Flyers 3-1 in Philadelphia on Oct. 2 and 4-3 in overtime in Toronto on March 8. ... Toronto has allowed the first goal eight times in the last nine games. ... Maple Leafs D Paul Ranger (concussion) was not in the lineup. ... Flyers RW Steve Downie (upper body) did not play.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top