Howe's No. 2 ready to be retired; Giroux deflects praise

    It seems almost certain that Mark Howe's No. 2 will be retired by the Flyers.

    Speaking to reporters in Toronto, where Howe was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday, Flyers chairman Ed Snider said: "If a guy's good enough for the Hall of Fame, he's good enough to have his number retired."

   That sounds like Howe's No. 2 soon will soon be hanging from the Wells Fargo Center rafters, along with Bernie Parent's No. 1, Barry Ashbee's No. 4, Bill Barber's No. 7 and Bobby Clarke's No. 16.

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   After Claude Giroux scored two goals in the Flyers' 5-3 win at Carolina Monday, winger Jaromir Jagr said the shifty center was one of the top three players in the NHL.

    Giroux, who is tied for second in the league with 11 goals, seemed embarrassed by the words.

   He called it a "compliment," but added it was "only one game," and he praised the work of the lines centered by Max Talbot and Sean Couturier.

   "You saw Max's line and Sean's line brought a lot of energy," Giroux said. "They were playing in the other team's zone and they kind of got the team going. It was obviously a team effort tonight."

  The Flyers won games on back-to-back nights. On Sunday, they defeated Florida, 3-2.

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   The Flyers are an NHL-best 6-1-1 on the road.

   "I think it really starts with good leadership. I think our leadership has been excellent," coach Peter Laviolette said. "From there, I think it comes from competitiveness. The building is never as friendly as it is at home. We've got a good group in there that works really hard. The work really hasn't been a problem all year."

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  Talbot, who like Jagr is proving to be a shrewd free-agent signing, scored his sixth goal in the Flyers' 17th game; last year, he finished with eight goals with Pittsburgh.

   Talbot (see video), playing with a stitched-up lip, also helped the Flyers kill all four Carolina power plays; they have killed 30 of their last 31.

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  Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.


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