Flyers' Claude Giroux: 'Pretty special' 24 hours

Claude Giroux Flyers Senators 120116
Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux (No. 28, far left), celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates Jakub Voracek (93), Shayne Gostisbehere (53) and Travis Konecny (11) on Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario.

OTTAWA - Flyers captain Claude Giroux returned to his home city, Ottawa, got engaged Wednesday, and scored a pair of even-strength goals, including the overtime winner, on Thursday night.

"Pretty special," Giroux said after carrying the Flyers to a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Center.

"It was a whirlwind 24 hours for him," goalie Steve Mason said. "It's nice to see him come home and make a commitment long-term to somebody, and then put up some big goals tonight."

Giroux and his long-time girlfriend, Ryanne Breton, got engaged Wednesday in Ottawa. Both grew up in the Ottawa area, and they met four years ago and began dating.

Including last year's playoffs, Giroux entered the night with just one even-strength goal in the last 37 games. Thursday marked only the 10th time in his career that he had two even-strength goals in the same game.

On both goals, he converted passes from right winger Jake Voracek.

"G expects a lot from himself, and we expect a lot out of him from an overall team standpoint," Mason said. "He's a guy that the boys in the locker room look to, along with a couple of other guys, when we need it most. Tonight he found a way to cap off a great play by Jake."

Giroux had two goals, five shots and won 55 percent of his faceoffs while playing a team-high 22:44.

"I thought those guys had a heck of a night," coach Dave Hakstol said, referring to Giroux and linemates Voracek and Michael Raffl. "They had the puck an awful lot and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. You saw some of the chemistry in overtime."

 The win was the third straight for the Flyers (12-10-3), equaling a season high, and it pushed them two games over the .500 points percentage for the first time this season.

The new-look second line - Brayden Schenn moved to the center spot between wingers Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds - didn't score, but had several strong shifts that steered the momentum in the Flyers' direction.

"You're not going to score every night," Konecny said. "All your line can do is to work hard. I think it was a success. We got the win and our line created a lot of offense and took away a lot of their momentum. We just have to keep building off of it."

Breakaways. It was Giroux's 18th two-goal game in his career; the Flyers are 16-1-1 in those games... Michael Del Zoto had five hits and four blocked shots... Radko Gudas had five hits... The Flyers had 79 shots attempts compared the Ottawa's 51.

Continue Reading