Thursday, June 3, 2010

Philly's Claude Giroux gives the Flyers an OT Win and cuts the series to 2-1

A back-and-fourth game that featured three ties and a couple of lead changes eventually lead to Claude Giroux's game winner 6 minutes into OT after a goal that looked like that helped the Flyers win just a couple of minutes was called a no goal after it rolled across the goal line.

The Flyers knew that they needed a big performance and a win to keep this series close and they did that very well with Giroux getting a goal and assist. Chris Pronger being a pest once again and Scott Hartnell playing like a maniac in this year's Finals.

Game 4 will be tomorrow night as we will have another critical chance for the Blackhawks to go up 3-1 and be within one win of clinching the Stanley Cup Title. As for Philadelphia, the Flyers are looking to keep the home cooking going to tie the series at 2-2 and guarantee one more home game for the Flyers in the Final.


Claude Giroux fulfills friends OT Pick:

Jonathan Toews stays positive despite Game 3 Loss:

Game Recap from the National Hockey League Website:

In Philadelphia: Nothing can shake Philadelphia's belief in itself in this Stanley Cup Final - not the weight of history, not the skill and opportunism of its opponent, nor its own mistakes.

On Wednesday Night, the Flyers overcame that deadly trifecta to somehow fashion a 4-3 OT Victory - on the OT Strength of Claude Giroux's deflection on goal at 5:59 into OT - against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 before a record crowd at the Wachovia Center.

As a greater testament to the Philadelphia resolve on this night, Giroux's goal came just 57 seconds after the Flyers thought they had won the game on a shot by Simon Gagne. Video replay, however, determined that the shot, which rang off the far goal post, never completely crossed the goal line.

Philadelphia stepped onto the ice Wednesday knowing that only two teams had to overcome an 0-2 start on the road to the Stanley Cup Final to eventually raise the trophy in victory. The Flyers also knew they were facing a Chicago team that had won seven straight road games. Yet, none of them mattered as the Flyers still believed they would win, despite the long odds of history stacked against them.

"I just had a feeling we were going to win tonight," forward Daniel Briere said. "I remember driving to the rink earlier in this afternoon and I just felt had this good feeling we're going to win; there was absolutely no way we were going to lose this game. It was just that feeling that we were going to do anything to get it done."

The Flyers had to have everything possible - and more - to get the win that puts them back in a series they now trail 2-1 heading into Friday's Game 4 here (8:00 PM ET on Versus).

In Wednesday's game, Philaelphia had to overcome the stigma of coughing up two leads - on goals by defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Sopel - and then allowing Chicago to score the go - ahead goal early in the third period on egregious turnover that turned into the go ahead goal by Patrick Kane on a breakaway at 2:50 of the third period. Philadelphia has now blown five leads in the first three games of this series.

Kane's goal took the sails out of the record crowd at the Wachovia Center, which had filled to overflowing with 20,297 fans attempting to will the Flyers back into this series with back-to-back one goal losses in Chicago. It was the biggest crowd not only in Wachovia Center History, but also the biggest crowd to watch an NHL Game in the state of Pennsylvania.

Come Thursday, though, at least three times that number of people will say they were part of the Bedlam on Broad Street as they pass along the incredible tale of a team that refuses to admit when enough is enough.

In face, Philadelphia's response to the goal by Kane - which would have broken a lesser team -defines the supreme will of these Flyers, who beat Boston two rounds ago despite falling into an 0-3 series hole and then trailing 3-0 in Game 7 before winning 4-3.

Ville Leino, a late season addition, tied Game 3 just 20 seconds later after Kane's goal. Briere had given Philadelphia its first lead with five minutes left in the first and Scott Hartnell scored midway through the 2nd for a 2-1 lead. Both goals came on the Power Play.

"It was a nice goal to comeback away after that (Kane Goal) and score, because you think its over", Philadelphia Coach Peter Laviolette said.

Driving hard to the net, Leino grabbed a fortunate rebound and slammed it past Antti Nemi, who had scrambled to stop a puck that had unexpectedly bounced off the skate of the defensemen Jordan Hendry.

"I don't think anyone was deflated at all," said Flyers defensemen Chris Pronger, who has become the emotional barometer of this team. "We needed to bounce back. There's going to be momentum swings through the course of the game, through the course of the series."

"There's lots of time left. I don't think anybody was panicking or deflated. I think it's a matter of just putting your head down and getting back to work."

Philadelphia never stopped working after Kane's goal, just as the Flyers haven't stopped working all postseason.

Before's Giroux's winner, the Flyers out-shot Chicago 16-5 - including a 14-3 margin in the final 17 minutes of regulation. The dominated zone play for long stretches and were finally rewarded with the goal by Giroux, who deflected a point shot from Matt Carle past Niemi.

"I won the faceoff and Kimmo Timonen passed me in the middle and passed to Briere on the side, and Matt Carle joined the rush," said Giroux, who said he received a text Wednesday Afternoon from a childhood friend Giroux would score the game winner in OT. "Carle's a great player and he can see the ice pretty well. I was trying to get a stick on it and it trickled in.

Giroux goal gave Philadelphia its first playoff OT Win in its first five tries, a string of futility dating all the way back to 1974. Suddenly, the building was jumping, the players were celebrating and the weight of both their past failures and the postseason's daunting history were forgotten - for a least few moments.

"It's been going on for a long time", Laviolette said of his team's undaunted responses to adversity. "Like I said this morning, 2-0 (down) for us is comfortable. Were ok with that. We know how to battle through it. We knew how important the game was tonight. Once we wake up tomorrow morning, we know we have to hold serve on home ice. I think the guys will be find with that."

On Friday, it will be Chicago's turn to respond to adversity. Captain Jonathan Towes, who set up Kane's breakaway goal, insists his club will be ready.

"When you come into this game, the series is far from over," Towes said. "We couldn't look ahead to Game 4 or anything beyond tonight. It's tough to lose, especially in OT when you work as hard you did."

"We're not looking past any game right now." Regardless of what the score is in the series, we'll keep getting better and we'll get ready for the next one."

Chicago Blackhawks Lead Series 2-1

Game Boxscore

Chicago Blackhawks 3 Philadelphia Flyers 4 (OT) (0-1, 2-1, 1-1, 0-1)

0-1 PHI: Danny Briere (Hartnell, Coburn) 14:58 1st

1-1 CHI: Duncan Keith (Kane, Hossa) 2:49 2nd

1-2 PHI: Scott Hartnell (PP) (Pronger, Giroux) 9:59 2nd

2-2 CHI: Brent Sopel (Madden) 17:52 2nd

3-2 CHI: Patrick Kane (Toews, Eager) 3:10 3rd

3-3 PHI: Veino (Giroux, Carle) 3:10 3rd

3-4 PHI: Claude Giroux (Carle, Briere) 5:59 OT

Game Stats

SOG: CHI 27 PHI 32

PIM: CHI 6 Minutes on 3 Penalties PHI 6 Minutes on 3 Penalties

PP: CHI 0/3 PHI 1/3

Goalies: CHI Antti Nemi 28 SVS on 32 Shots PHI Michael Leighton 24 SVS on 27 Shots

ATT: 20,297

3rd Star: Chris Pronger (PHI)

2nd Star: Ville Leino (PHI)

1st Star: Claude Giroux (PHI)

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