Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux is no stranger to scoring goals. He has 24 on the season – second most on the Flyers – and leads the team with 79 points. But Giroux put the icing on the cake last night when he scored a dazzling beauty against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the shootout to lead the Flyers to their fifth straight victory. Giroux was three-for-five in the shootout heading into the game against the Leafs last night with a 36 percent success rate throughout his career.
Giroux moves in on Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson with some speed and fakes a shot over Gustavsson’s catcher before tapping the brakes, heel dragging the puck back to the near side and roofing the puck into a virtually empty net. The move is reminiscent of Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk’s most infamous move against then Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco, and has since replicated a handful of times in the shootout over the years, but Giroux’s move speaks more to a similar deke that Ryan Getzlaf used a few years ago in the shootout as well. Giroux pulled off the move with ease and grace and poor Gustavsson totally took the bait on the shot fake and looked foolish when Giroux popped the puck into the open net.
The shootout goal, however, provided a setback for Toronto’s push for the playoffs. While the Leafs earned a point in overtime, the team currently sits 12th in the East with 68 points. The Carolina Hurricanes are right on their tail with 67 points while the Tampa Bay Lightning have one up on Toronto with 69 points. The Washington Capitals currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the East with 74 points.
The Flyers are now 7-3-0 over their last 10 and currently hold the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference. The team visits New Jersey tonight and then hosts the Devils on Tuesday. They will finish out the week with a visit to the Islanders on Thursday before heading to Boston on Saturday before coming home to host the Penguins on Sunday for the beginning of a five-game home stand. Nine of Philadelphia’s remaining 15 games will be at home.
Check out a video of Claude Giroux’s shootout goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs below: