Giroux Steals The Show In Return To Lineup

21 Dec

Jaromir Jagr couldn’t have been happier. When he learned that Claude Giroux was returning to the lineup, it was inevitable that he and his line would get back on track. Indeed, Santa Claude came back and had gifts for everyone. OK, well three people.

Giroux had a goal and three assists in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, shedding any doubt that the center wasn’t going to push himself after missing four games with a concussion.

The Flyers found themselves in a 1-0 hole only 56 seconds into the game, when Michael Ryder used a screen to beat Sergei Bobrovsky up high. But then, Giroux took over.

First he helped himself, scoring on a rebound of a Jagr shot against Richard Bachman to tie the score. It also gave him sole possession of first place in the NHL scoring race. Even after missing four games, he was tied for the league lead.

Then he gave himself some breathing room.

He assisted Wayne Simmonds on a power play goal when Vernon Fiddler was in the box for spraying Bobrovsky with a snow shower. The goal keeps Simmonds hot. He’s now had five goals in his last seven games.

Dallas tried to stop Giroux, but had trouble. Giroux got hit by Trevor Daley and fell to the ice, but he got back up and was OK. Then Steve Ott hit him too. Giroux got some help in an interesting form. Instead of Tom Sestito or Zac Rinaldo stepping up to Ott, Peter Laviolette gave the Star a shove on his way to the locker room.

According to a report from TSN, the league will review the situation, but it likely won’t garner even a fine.

In the second period, the Giroux show was back on. Jagr got involved on a dazzling play with Giroux. The center played give-and-go, seemingly paying no mind to the Dallas defense who had no shot at stopping the crisp passes. Jagr deposited the puck behind Bachman for his 11th goal of the year.

The goal moves Jagr into sole possession of 11th on the NHL all-time goal scoring list, passing Brendan Shanahan. He is 11 away from tying Luc Robitaille (668).

In the third period, Giroux led Andrej Meszaros for a breakaway in which he tallied to make the score 4-1.

The victory broke a two-game losing streak for the Flyers. Not only did the team get two points, but its offensive leader got four. It was his most prolific game of the season, a feat he’s accomplished twice already this year, on Dec. 7 and Oct. 29. The performance put to rest any apprehension that Giroux might not be himself. It is clear that the NHL scoring leader is alive and well.

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