|ESPN.com: NHL Playoffs 2012||[Print without images]|
“Giroux was agitated when Devils goalie Martin Brodeur played the puck outside the trapezoid. Giroux barked at the officials before he skated straight at Zubrus and took out his frustration with the hit. The Devils went on to beat the Flyers, 4-2. Zubrus said he was fine and ready to go for Game 5. "I was just trying to get in the forecheck and got hit," he said Monday. "The only real point of contact was my head. I know it wasn't an elbow. It was a shoulder and I went down. I am happy I can continue without stopping playing and I will be in the lineup tomorrow." Giroux had stronger words for the Flyers, saying they were "panicking" and have lost confidence in their game against the Devils. That was never more evident than when he was called for the head-hit penalty on Zubrus. "We're not playing our game," Giroux said. "We need to relax a little bit. Everybody's just panicking a little bit. We need to relax. We need to have a little more confidence in our game." Both teams had the day off from practice on Monday. "At this point, I'm not sure what going out and skating is going to accomplish," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. With or without Giroux, the Flyers are in trouble. They have failed to play like the high-scoring team that dominated Pittsburgh on the power play and rolled to three straight wins. The Devils have rattled the usually unflappable Flyers. Scott Hartnell threw his glove into the penalty box after he was whistled for a penalty. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov took his time getting to his feet after a goal in Game 2. The Flyers are struggling to generate any offense and are leaving too many periods with single-digit shot totals. "This is the biggest challenge of the year," Flyers forward Danny Briere said. "But we've shown all year that we're not quitters." Briere, Hartnell, Giroux, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and other key regulars were part of the Flyers team that stormed back from a 3-0 hole to beat Boston en route to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010. So they know a historic comeback can be done -- even if they're not using it as a rallying point. "To tell a story, I don't know if that will get the deal done (Tuesday)," Laviolette said. But that history is exactly why the Devils want to finish off the Flyers when they're down. "They are a comeback team," Devils forward Travis Zajac said. "They have the players to do it." The Devils are the ones setting the pace, dominating the puck and staying out of the penalty box. They also know how to rally after rebounding from a 2-0 hole in the first period on Sunday to win. They've played like the anti-Flyers and they want to keep up that pace. "Ideally, we would like to go there and end the series," Devils captain Zach Parise said. "We expect them to play very well. We have to keep playing the same way we are, even better."
My elbow was down. I didn't jump. I'm a pretty honest player. I'm not a dirty player. I'm not out there to hurt anybody. I was just trying to finish a hit.” -- Flyers F Claude Giroux
on hit that got him suspended