Claude Giroux Stars in OT Win Over Jets
PHILADELPHIA — Monday morning, some of Claude Giroux’s teammates weren’t so sure he’d even play.
He kept telling them he was OK, but in the morning skate he was sitting on the bench for the team’s optional skate watching others on the ice. Two nights prior he had taken a spill in which his head bounced off the boards and he lay face up on the ice with his eyes closed.
He wouldn’t say whether he was conscious or not, but passed concussion protocol Saturday night and didn’t have to take a baseline test when the Flyers returned to Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.
Turns out he was well enough to not only play, but score the game-winning goal in a 3-2 game over the Winnipeg Jets with 13.6 seconds to go in overtime.
“It was great. That’s why he’s our captain, I think. Actually, not think, I know,” Wayne Simmonds said. "He does great things it doesn’t matter with or without the puck. He wears his heart on his sleeve the way he plays and he always goes out there and is one of the hardest working guys on our team.”
There were times in the game where the Flyers’ captain didn’t look like himself, but neither did many of his teammates. At that point the second period had set in and the Flyers scored both their regulation goals. Mark Streit scored his sixth goal of the season on a crisp cross-ice pass from Sean Couturier through traffic to give the Flyers the lead.
“We had some pretty good offensive zone time,” Streit said. “I went back door to get open for Coots and he made a really nice saucer pass to me and I just one-timed it.”
About five minutes later, Simmonds doubled it when Brayden Schenn couldn’t jam the puck in at the side of the net and the puck went out to Simmonds at the point. His shot, which was heading wide, went off the leg of Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and behind goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 29 saves in defeat.
“That’s the furthest goal I’ll ever get,” joked Simmonds, whose usual offense is inches outside the crease.