Flyers turn around play after coach sends message

The Flyers' Claude Giroux (left) is congratulated by teammates, including Jakub Voracek (center) and Matt Carle, after scoring one of his two goals in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Flyers' Claude Giroux (left) is congratulated by teammates, including Jakub Voracek (center) and Matt Carle, after scoring one of his two goals in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens. (PAUL BERESWILL / Getty Images)
Posted: November 26, 2011

Peter Laviolette had seen enough. Another sluggish first period was more than the Flyers coach could take, and he expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms during the first intermission on Friday.

Whatever he said must have had hit home, because the Flyers were a different team in the second period - which they had entered with a 1-0 deficit.

The Flyers scored three goals in the final seven minutes of the second period, including two by Claude Giroux, en route to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center.

Although they have been plagued by injuries, the Flyers (13-6-3) keep motoring along. Andreas Lilja suffered a high-ankle sprain in the second period, and general manager Paul Holmgren said the defenseman is expected to be out for six weeks.

Chris Pronger (virus), James van Riemsdyk (upper-body injury), and Jaromir Jagr (groin) were scratches and won't play in Saturday's game in New York against the Rangers.

Still, the team that took the ice didn't put Laviolette in a very good mood the first 20 minutes.

"Well, he wasn't happy, and he was right," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who assisted on the Flyers' second goal, a slapshot by Jakub Voracek. "When we don't play with the energy or skating or anything like that, we're not a good hockey team."

And their coach told them so.

"He was just mad that we didn't come out harder and didn't skate that hard, so he was really mad, but he was right," Timonen said.

Laviolette's message was simple and direct.

"I think it was just too many turnovers; we were giving the puck, we weren't strong enough, and we didn't play with the intent that we needed, especially in our building," Laviolette said. "We talked about home ice, making it a difficult place to play."

This was the second consecutive win for the Flyers and both included subpar first periods. In Wednesday's 4-3 overtime win over the host New York Islanders, the Flyers trailed, 3-1, after the first period. Sergei Bobrovsky replaced Ilya Brzygalov in that game and got the start Friday. Bobrovsky made 23 saves, including two gems in the third period against Erik Cole, stopping the initial shot and then the rebound.

Montreal took a 1-0 lead when Petteri Nokelainen scored his first of the year with 1 minute, 46 seconds remaining in the first period.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price was the story early in the game, stoning the Flyers several times.

Eventually, Giroux took matters into his own hands. He scored his goals off rebounds and now has 13 for the season to go along with 16 assists.

"I think at home we haven't played as well as we wanted since the start of the season, and obviously [in] the second and third we kind of played the way we should have," Giroux said. "We kind of took control of the game in the second period."

Giroux got the equalizer on a rebound from a right angle, with an assist by Matt Carle, with 6:49 left in the second period.

Voracek broke the tie on a one-timer from the left circle with 2:15 remaining, converting a pass from Timonen, who was stationed behind the net.

With six seconds to go in the second period, Giroux made it 3-1, scoring from an extreme angle on the left side off a rebound of a Braydon Coburn shot that Price had blocked.

The Flyers had taken control, ensuring a quieter intermission after the second period.


Alumni Game Rosters

Here are the rosters for the Winter Classic Alumni Game to be played Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park:

FLYERS

Forwards: Bill Barber, Bob Clarke, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuk, Eric Lindros, Ken Linseman, Dave Poulin, Jeremy Roenick, Al Hill, Bob Kelly, John LeClair, Shjon Podein, Brian Propp, Reggie Leach, Mark Recchi, Rick Tocchet.

Defensemen: Terry Carkner, Eric Desjardins, Larry Goodenough, Derian Hatcher, Mark Howe, Brad Marsh, Kjell Samuelsson, Chris Therien, Joe Watson.

Goalies: Neil Little, Mark LaForest.

Coaches: Pat Quinn (head coach), Mike Nykoluk, Keith Primeau.

Off-ice ambassadors: Dave Schultz, Don Saleski, Bernie Parent.

RANGERS

Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Pat Hickey, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Darren Turcotte.

Defensemen: Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Laidlaw, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider.

Goalies: Dan Blackburn, John Vanbiesbrouck.

Coaches: Mike Keenan (head coach), Emile Francis, Colin Campbell.

Off-ice ambassadors: Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Harry Howell.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.

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