Without Giroux, Flyers offense clicks in 5-1 win over Caps

Posted: December 13, 2011

WASHINGTON - The Flyers have rallied around a unified battle cry, one that basically suggests that the troops have to dig a little deeper in these injury-plagued times.

So on the day they found out that the NHL's leading scorer, Claude Giroux, is out indefinitely with a concussion, the Flyers received key offensive contributions from some old standbys along with a newcomer to the scoring sheet.

It all added up to a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, extending the Flyers winning streak to six games.

The Flyers (19-7-3) continue to lead the Eastern Conference with 41 points.

Everybody from coach Peter Laviolette to each of the players talked about the importance of carrying a little extra offensive weight in the absence of Giroux.

And the Flyers did plenty of heavy lifting.

Five different players scored the first five goals.

It's probably no coincidence that Scott Hartnell has scored in every game of this six-game winning streak.

Hartnell was one of the players who talked about picking up the slack for his injured linemate Giroux and he did exactly that, scoring the game's first goal on a wrist shot that was an indication of the difficult night Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun would have.

In fact, Vokoun was pulled after two periods with the Flyers holding a 4-0 lead.

The Flyers put things away with three second-period goals, the first scored by an unlikely source.

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon scored on a wrist shot inside the blue line on a pass from Zac Rinaldo. Jody Shelley provided a screen and it initially appeared as if he tipped it in, but the puck apparently went off the stick of Washington's Mathieu Perreault.

"I was happy but I didn't even know it was me who scored," Bourdon said. "I shot the puck and thought maybe it tipped off one of their guys or thought maybe Shell scored."

He won't give it back.

"But I was happy we scored," Bourdon said.

The goals kept coming. Wayne Simmonds made it 3-0 scoring in his third straight game. Simmonds did a great job keeping the puck in the zone and then skated from behind the net to tip in a shot by Andrej Meszaros.

Maxime Talbot made it 4-0 scoring on a wrist shot that quite frankly Vokoun should have had.

Jake Voracek scored the fifth goal on a third period tip-in against Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth.

Washington averted the shutout on a tip-in by Jeff Halpern with 6:01 left in the third period.

Ilya Bryzgalov, who left the Flyers 5-2 win over Tampa Bay with 13:01 left in the third period due to a lower body injury, was in goal for the Flyers.

For the Flyers, the win avenged a 5-2 loss to the visiting Capitals on Oct. 20. In that game, Washington scored three goals in the third period. Alex Ovechkin had two goals that game, but he wasn't his usual self against the Flyers.

Prior to Tuesday's game, Ovechkin had 37 points (22 goals, 15 assists) in 23 career games against the Flyers.

This was not a night to add to his goal total, but one that the Flyers continued their winning ways, regardless of who wasn't able to suit up.

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


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