FLYERS WIN 5-1! CAPTAIN CLAUDE IS HEALTHY, HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE!

By Julie Glass

Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist in the Flyers’ 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers at the Wells.

It was his second consecutive multipoint game, the first time he’s done that since Dec. 6-8, 2016. He had two goals and two assists in an 8-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Last season, Giroux was slowed by the lingering effects of hip and abdominal muscle surgery he had in May 2016. Giroux, who had 58 points (14 goals, 44 assists) last season, said not being able to play at a high level made it a grind.

This season, though, he has nine points (four goals, five assists) in six games and is skating as smoothly ever for the Flyers (4-2-0).

“When you win it’s fun,” he told NHL.com.

Coach Dave Hakstol said Giroux’s strong training camp has carried into the start of the season.

“He’s playing hard and he’s making plays,” Hakstol said. “He’s playing good hockey. … We said that all the way along, his conditioning level, his level of play right from Day One of camp has been excellent.”

Shayne Gostisbehere also had a goal and an assist. Sean Couturier, Dale Weise and Valtteri Filppula scored and Michael Neuvirth had 40 saves.

Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds didn’t play the final 8:12 of the third period because of a lower-body injury. Jamie McGinn scored for Florida (2-3-0), and Roberto Luongo had 34 saves.

Couturier scored the first of four Flyers goals in the second period at 1:05, and Gostisbehere made it 2-0 when he finished a give-and-go with Simmonds at 7:35, with a hard shot over Luongo’s blocker for his first goal of the season. Giroux scored on the power play at 13:22 to make it 3-0, and Weise scored his first at 16:16.

Filppula was credited with an empty-net goal at 18:23 of the third when he lost a face-off to the Panthers’ Nick Bjugstad, who put it in his net from the neutral zone on the Flyers’ side of center ice.

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