Thursday, August 27, 2015

Flyers need to give Giroux some support

Much has been made about Claude Giroux’s struggles in the first three games of the playoffs, but the fact is, the intense little center has been one of the Flyers’ best players.

Flyers need to give Giroux some support

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Much has been made about Claude Giroux’s struggles in the first three games of the playoffs, but the fact is, the intense little center has been one of the Flyers’ best players.

Giroux has had to fight through double teams, and the New York Rangers have hit him at every opportunity. He was invisible in Game 1, but has played well in the last two games.

Though he is goal-less, Giroux has drawn several penalties, won a series-high 61.1 percent of his faceoffs, collected a pair of assists, and posted a team-best plus-3 rating.

His teammates, however, have not done much. Witness the fact the Flyers are averaging 1.67 goals per game (excluding an empty-netter), placing them 15th out of the 16 playoff teams.

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The Flyers have one even-strength goal by a forward (Jake Voracek) in the series.

After the Rangers took a two-games-to-one series lead with a 4-1 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, Giroux said the Flyers would even the series on Friday.

“It shows his character, that he really wants it," center Sean Couturier said. “I think the whole team follows him. I think we'll be ready, and we'll be ready to compete and get that win. … We definitely don't want to be in that hole.”

In Tuesday’s 4-1 loss, the Flyers had their most shots in the series (32), but most were low-percentage ones from the perimeter. They need to get more traffic in front of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, need to be less predictable in the offensive end.

Oh, and they need their forwards to give their hard-working captain some assistance.

Breakaways. The Rangers will practice at Madison Square Garden Thursday before returning to Philadelphia….The Flyers will practice in Voorhees Thursday at 11 a.m.; it is free open to the public….Winger Matt Read did not have a hearing for his hit that leveled ex-Flyer Dan Carcillo on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Read leads the Flyers with 14 hits in the series….The Flyers’ Andrew MacDonald has a series-high 10 blocked shots _ one more than the Rangers’ Dan Girardi…The Flyers are allowing 3.33 goals per game in the playoffs; only the Penguins (3.50), Blue Jackets (3.50), Lightning (4.00) and Kings (5.67!) have allowed more goals per game.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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