The Buzzer: Giroux helps Flyers rout Caps, Hitchcock climbs wins list

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Player of the night: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers put on quite a performance for their fans in their home opener on Saturday night, completely dominating the Washington Capitals by an 8-2 margin and outshooting them 37-22.

It was a big night for a lot of Flyers, including Sean Couturier (three points), Jakub Voracek (three assists) and Scott Laughton (two goals).

But the player of the night had to be Claude Giroux as he finished with four points (two goals, two assists) and is now up to seven points in his first five games this season.

The 2016-17 season was a bit of a down year for Giroux as he finished with only 58 points, his worst offensive output (not counting the lockout season in 2012-13) since 2009-10, his second year in the league. He is off to a great start so far this season.

Highlight of the night.

Another huge play from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin, this time in overtime as he made another slick entry into the offensive zone to help set up Alexander Wennberg for the game-winning goal. He finished the game with three assists, already his second three assist game of the season. He is now up to seven points in five games. Huge pickup for the Blue Jackets.

Factoid of the night.

Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock is now third on the NHL’s all-time wins list, passing Al Arbour in the Stars’ 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

 

Misc.

— The Ottawa Senators have collected eight out of a possible 10 points without the services of their best player, Erik Karlsson. Pretty good sign for the Eastern Conference runners up. They completed the Alberta sweep on Saturday night with a 6-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Following their blowout win in Calgary on Friday night that means they beat the Oilers and Flames by a combined margin of 12-1. That is pretty impressive.

— With their 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins the Arizona Coyotes are off to their worst five-game start in franchise history at 0-4-1. Not a great start for a young team.

Corey Crawford has been pretty much unbeatable for the Chicago Blackhawks so far this season, allowing just a single goal in four of his first five starts. That includes Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win agains the Nashville Predators when he stopped 37 out of 38 shots.

— Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov continued his fantastic start to the season by scoring in his fifth consecutive game. He has now scored in every game this season and helped lead the Lightning to a 2-1 win on Saturday night. He is one of the top offensive players in the league and is picking right back up from where he left off a year ago.

Scores and recaps.

Philadelphia Flyers 8, Washington Capitals 2

Winnipeg Jets 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1

Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Montreal Canadiens 3

Tampa Bay Lightning 2, St. Louis Blues 1

New Jersey Devils 3, New York Rangers 2

Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Florida Panthers 3

Dallas Stars 3, Colorado Avalanche 1

Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Minnesota Wild 4

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Nashville Predators 1

Boston Bruins 6, Arizona Coyotes 2

Calgary Flames 5, Vancouver Canucks 2

New York Islanders 3, San Jose Sharks 1

Los Angeles Kings 4, Buffalo Sabres 2