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Flyers, Claude Giroux send Penguins home: Advance to 2nd round of playoffs

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Just prior to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Game 6 matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Claude Giroux approached head coach Peter Laviolette. Giroux insisted that Laviolette put him on the ice for the game’s first shift.Claude Giroux photo: theorangeupdate.com

What transpired before our very eyes was arguably one of the greatest moments in the early career of Giroux, one of hockey’s best rising stars.

Giroux lowered the boom on Sidney Crosby near the benches, and just seconds later fired a rocket past seemingly rejuvenated Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for a 1-0 Flyers lead.

It was a lead the orange and back never relinquished. And in a series that has seen each team who scores the initial goal of every contest come out on the losing side, the Flyers broke the trend and never relinquished the lead.

5-1  Flyers. Series over. Second round, here we come!

Giroux was undisputedly the best player on the ice the entire series, accumulating 14 points in six games. The look on his face after that first goal spoke volumes, and may very well have sent a message to the rest of the NHL that the Flyers are a team to be reckoned with moving forward in the NHL playoffs. Just beating the team picked by experts to win the Stanley Cup can do that.

In every sport, the team that is the last one standing has several breaks along the way, and that includes playoff matchups. The 1983 Sixers didn’t have to face the Celtics. The 2008 Phillies didn’t have to face the Cubs or the Angels. There’s a possibility that the Flyers might not have to face the New York Rangers or defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in the next round. Now granted, anything is possible and to team is unbeatable. Like I said however, the Flyers didn’t match up too favorably against the Rangers (0-6 this season) or Bruins (1-3) this season, but remember when everybody was rooting for the Eagles to play the Cardinals in the 2009 NFC Championship Game? Exactly. The playoffs are a whole other story.

The Flyers might have to wait as late as Thursday to find out who they will face in the second round. For now, enjoy Rob Giannone’s spectacular Game 6 Recap on our partnering site Buzz on Broad RIGHT HERE!

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Claude Giroux photo: theorangeupdate.com