The 22-year-old Giroux scored at 5:59 of overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night at Wachovia Center. While his goal was a result of pinpoint passing by teammates Daniel Briere and Matt Carle, to the game-winning goal scorer goes the spoils.
"Claude has been a dynamic player for us all season and has been great in the playoffs," said Briere. "It's not surprising the winning goal came off his stick."
Giroux shared his view of the overtime goal, a play that started in Philadelphia's end: "I won the faceoff and Kimmo (Timonen) passed me in the middle and passed to Briere on the side. Matt Carle joined the rush. He's a great player who can see the ice pretty well. I tried to get a stick on it and it trickled in."
The 22nd overall pick in 2006 was drafted by the Flyers out of Gatineau in the Quebec League because of the finishing touch that enabled him to score more than 100 points in three junior seasons. In just his first full season in 2009-10 after playing 42 games as a rookie, Giroux's development is ahead of schedule.
He had 16 goals and 47 points this season, then made the Stanley Cup playoffs his personal breakout platform. Through the first three rounds, culminating with the Flyers' Eastern Conference Final victory over Montreal, Giroux was 8-9-17 through 17 games. It says everything about his rise on Philadelphia's depth chart that when he failed to produce a point and was minus-3 in the first two games of the Cup Final in Chicago, a little media heat was placed on the youngster.
How did Giroux respond? With the primary assist on Ville Leino's crucial game-tying goal early in the third -- and 20 seconds after Patrick Kane gave Chicago a 3-2 lead -- and with the overtime goal to give the Flyers and the Stanley Cup Final a much-needed pulse before Game 4 on Friday.
"It seems like whenever we have adversity, we find a way to get it done," said Giroux. "We've got a lot of character in the room. Guys really want to win. We can play better the whole 60 minutes, play better defensively as a team. Tonight we played our best game of the series.
"We didn't want to have to come back from down 3-0 again. To give us a chance to win the series, we needed to win this game tonight. The message was pretty clear before the game, and guys showed up."
Giroux shared a story about a pregame premonition from one of his friends.
Overtime goals in Stanley Cup Finals equal immortality. Especially if his Flyers continue to come back and win the Stanley Cup, no one will ever forget Claude Giroux's name again.