With just seven regular-season games left, center Claude Giroux is a looooongshot to become the first Flyer to win the NHL scoring title in franchise’s history.
But Giroux _ who is third in the NHL with a career-high 86 points, 11 behind the leader, the streaking Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh _ looks at the positive side.
“There’s no way I would have guessed I would have been up there,” Giroux said after Sunday’s practice in Voorhees. “It’s pretty cool….I feel lucky to be up there. It’s not just about me. It’s about my linemates, too.”
Giroux was referring to wingers Scott Hartnell (64 points ) and Jaromir Jar (49 points).
On Monday night at 7:30, the Flyers will host Tampa Bay, a team that features Steven Stamkos, the league’s No. 2 scorer with 87 points.
The scoring race "is something I don't really control. The only thing I can control is how I play," Giroux said. "I'll do my best to help the team win. If I'm scoring goals, it means I'm helping the team. Obviously I'll try to catch him (Malkin), but it's not my main focus right now."
The Flyers are peaking at the right time, having won seven of their last eight games at home, and going on a 10-2-1 run overall.
“It’s been a great year. We’re having a lot of fun,” Giroux said. “Everybody comes to the rink and we’re having a good time. I mean, it’s not a job for us. We’re just playing hockey, and when we have fun, that’s when we play our best.”
The Flyers play four of their final seven games at home. They are fifth in the East, four points behind fourth-place Pittsburgh and five points behind the first-place Rangers.
The Flyers’ schedule includes two more games against the Penguins and one against the Rangers.
“There’s a lot of games left still, and we know we have a lot to work on,” Giroux said. “Obviously we want those points that are ahead of us, but our main focus is to get better as a team and make sure everybody is ready and healthy going into the playofffs."
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The Flyers' goal-differential is plus-30, while Tampa's is minus-43.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.