Giroux scores 2 as Flyers beat Avalanche 4-3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) After nearly giving up a four-goal lead, the Philadelphia Flyers were glad to hold on for the win.
Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist and the Flyers held off the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Saturday night for their third straight win.
Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Flyers, and Jakub Voracek added three assists to his league-leading total to help Philadelphia win its fifth straight at home. Steve Mason stopped 36 shots to hang on for his third consecutive win.
Trailing 4-0 after two periods, Colorado got goals from Maxime Talbot, Alex Tanguay and Zach Redmond in the third period.
''It's good to get a win,'' Voracek said, ''but that's not the way we want to play in the third.''
Philadelphia's penalty-kill unit fended off a furious attack by Colorado, following defenseman Braydon Coburn's holding penalty at 2:49 of the third period, after which Flyers coach Craig Berube called a timeout.
Berube said he didn't have any inspirational words of wisdom to share with his players.
''In the timeout, I said, `Listen, you've got to start playing. It's nothing more than that. I can't sit here and draw up a play for you guys to get out of it. Just play,''' Berube said. ''It's not even that they stopped playing. It's an attack mentality. You stop skating. That's the biggest thing. Skate and work, no matter what the score is. It gets you out of trouble.''
Reto Berra stopped 23 of 27 shots as the Avalanche lost their sixth straight on the road.
Philadelphia reconfigured its top line earlier this week by moving Simmonds, the right-winger with a right-handed shot, to the left side for the first time in his career. Berube said he was looking for ''chemistry.'' The result: Three goals in a span of 11 minutes, 27 seconds from the top line.
The Flyers' first two goals came while Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon was sitting in the penalty box. MacKinnon earned a five-minute major for boarding Luke Schenn at 19:07 of the first period. The Philadelphia defenseman, who left the ice clutching his left arm, did not return.
''That was a dumb play by me,'' MacKinnon said. I was just trying to turn him to one side with both of my hands. I definitely take responsibility for the hit. I didn't mean to hurt him. Actually, I went for dinner last night with him and his brother (Brayden). I feel bad about it.''
A few players in Philadelphia's room felt MacKinnon deserved a game misconduct.
''Me, too,'' Berube said.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy's issue with the penalty was which official whistled it.
''I had no problem with the call,'' Roy said. ''My only problem with it was the referee was very close to the play and the linesman at the blue line made the call. I thought he was a little too far (away) to make the call.''
Philadelphia's new-look top line capitalized on the man advantage.
Giroux found the back of the net with 3 seconds to go in the first period, off assists from Simmonds and Voracek. Using a screen in front of the net by Simmonds, Giroux fired a wrist shot from inside the left circle for a 1-0 lead. It was the Philadelphia captain's first goal in nine games, a streak that dated back to Oct. 18.
Then it was Simmonds' turn following the first intermission and, 9 minutes later, Brayden Schenn scored an even-strength goal from nearly the same spot in the crease, to pad Philadelphia's lead to 3-0.
Giroux's final tally, with 3:44 left in the second period, gave him his first multi-goal game of the season and handed Philadelphia a four-goal buffer.
Then, Colorado found its groove on offense.
Talbot's unassisted score at 2:29 of the third got the Avalanche on the scoreboard. Tanguay pulled Colorado within two a little more than 4 minutes later, and Redmond capped the scoring with 8:22 remaining.
The Avalanche nearly tied the score with two solid chances while on the power play
''You just take it save by save and you hope we can get a clear,'' Mason said.
''We had our chances,'' Roy said. ''Obviously, our power play could've scored a big one for us at the end.''
NOTES: Philadelphia announced D Shayne Gostisbehere is out indefinitely with a torn ACL in his left knee. The rookie, who sustained the injury in Thursday's win over Florida, will undergo surgery Nov. 13. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall did not offer a timetable for Gostisbehere's return. The 21-year-old played in only two games for the Flyers following his Oct. 24 promotion from the AHL.