Hartnell salutes Giroux, his captain

The Flyers' Scott Hartnell. (Matt Slocum/AP)

You can see it in Claude Giroux's eyes and in the way he practices and warms up, Scott Hartnell said.

It is even evident in the way Giroux plays kickball in the arena tunnel before games.

The Flyers captain wants to win in everything, Hartnell said. And that is something Hartnell said you need in a leader.

In his second year as captain, Giroux has grown to lead by example and by his comments.

"Guys will follow him to the Ben Franklin Bridge and jump off if he is going to lead the way," Hartnell said. "He just has a presence about him.

The 26-year-old has carried his team into playoff contention. Giroux has 14 points since the Olympic break, including the game-winning goal Tuesday against Chicago with 4.2 seconds left in overtime. The Flyers have won six of nine games and are in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

All but three of the Flyers' 14 remaining games are against teams with winning records. They host Dallas on Thursday and the Stars are in the hunt for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

Hartnell - Giroux's linemate - said the captain makes him want to play his best each night. And the rest of the team does not want to let its captain down, Hartnell said.

Giroux's presence is stronger this year than last, Hartnell added. He doesn't strike fear, Hartnell said, but Giroux does hold his teammates accountable.

The captain's vocal manner may be attributed to his increased confidence in speaking English. Giroux grew up in a French Canadian town in Ontario. Hartnell said the team often teased him about certain misprononunciations.

His biggest mistake now is asking a flight attendant for "more fruits."

"And I said, 'No, it's just fruit,' " Hartnell said.