Claude Giroux

Get your game notes: Flyers at Hurricanes

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Philadelphia Flyers, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Claude Giroux has gone 19 games since scoring his most recent goal on April 15, 2013, at Montreal. Prior to his current drought, the Flyers captain had never gone more than 13 consecutive regular-season games without a goal (Mar. 11-Apr. 2, 2010). During the time Giroux has gone goalless, 521 different players league-wide have found the back of the net at least once. (Elias Sports Bureau)

— The Flyers and Hurricanes are the only teams in the NHL without a player with double-digit points. Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn lead the way for Philadelphia with seven points apiece, while Jeff Skinner (currently on injured reserve with an upper-body injury) leads Carolina with nine.

— Flyers forward Scott Hartnell has 230 career goals, but none in 2013-14 (nine games played). Only one active player who has not scored this season has more career goals: Rangers forward Rick Nash (310 career goals, three games played in 2013-14).

— One season after finishing with the NHL’s worst home-ice record (9-14-1), the Hurricanes enter tonight with a 1-3-3 record in Raleigh. Their only win came against the Flyers, in Peter Laviolette’s final game as Philadelphia’s coach. Laviolette led the ‘Canes to their only Stanley Cup championship in 2006.

— On Mar. 13, 2013, the Hurricanes led the now-defunct Southeast Division with a 15-9-1 record. In their 37 games since then, they are 8-23-6 (.297), for the NHL’s worst record during that span.

— Heading into the 2013-14 season, the Flyers goaltending tandem of Steve Mason and Ray Emery were a combined lifetime 10-0-0 vs. the Hurricanes, with a 1.32 GAA and .958 save%. The stat line changed only slightly after the Flyers lost 2-1 in Raleigh on Oct. 6, with Mason in net. Emery is 5-0-0 lifetime vs. Carolina, with a 0.74 GAA and .977 save%, while Mason is 5-1-0, with a 1.84 GAA and .941 save%.

— The Flyers lead the NHL in penalty minutes (278), and are tied for the league lead in major penalties (14, Buffalo) and misconducts (5, St. Louis). Since 2007-08, Philadelphia has finished among the top-three in penalty minutes five of six seasons. Their 7,641 penalty minutes during that span outpace the second-most penalized team (Anaheim) by 643 PIMs.

Related: Flyers say brawl helped bring them together

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.