Claude Giroux has a big night and leads the Florida Panthers ahead of the Caps

The NHL has a commercial running during these playoffs in which Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux is featured.

The spot talks about teams wanting to win another Stanley Cup, focusing on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But in the end, Giroux is shown in slow motion: He only wants a Cup.

As was the case with Joe Thornton, Giroux thought the Panthers were his best chance to finally raise that silver chalice, only agreeing to waive his no-trade clause to join Florida.

It was a blockbuster deal for the Panthers and Flyers, as Giroux helped lead Philadelphia to the Finals in 2010 but didn’t come close during his long career as captain of the team.

He thinks he hitched his wagon to the right horse here at Sunrise.

“I’m just enjoying the playoffs right now,” Giroux said last week. “We’re having a good time, we’re having a lot of fun. Playoff hockey is stressful, it’s emotional, there’s a lot going on. We lost Game 3 and were a little behind and thought we could get back into this series.

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Friday night, the Panthers were certainly grateful to Giroux for picking them.

Giroux played a huge role in Florida’s 4-3 overtime win over the Capitals, propelling the Panthers to the Eastern Conference semifinals and a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As the Panthers trailed 2-1 in the third period after Nicklas Backstrom deflected, Aaron Ekblad broke free with Giroux on a 2-on-1 and slipped the puck to him as they crossed the Washington zone to even the score in less than 12 minutes. remaining.

Later in the period, had the puck on a big rebound from a MacKenzie Weegar shot; he saw Sasha Barkov head for the net and slipped the puck to him in traffic to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead.

In overtime, Florida had possession deep in the zone and Giroux not only helped continue that, but sent a nice pass from the end boards to Carter Verhaeghe in front to win it.

He has also won 55% of his faceoffs, including a few in overtime.

Big night by a great player.

“G is so good on face-offs, he wins all the tough ones,” said Jonathan Huberdeau. “He is playing well at the moment, playing with confidence. It’s good to see.

Florida will face Tampa Bay for the second straight postseason — and Giroux is one of a handful of Panthers who weren’t there for that first-round exit last May.

Fighting in the first round against Washington, Giroux said, should help the Panthers go forward.

“We wanted to move on and play the second round,” said Giroux, who has three goals and seven points in six games, including two goals and five points in the last two.

“I feel like we have some momentum, no matter who we face in Round 2, we just have to focus on ourselves.”

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING

  • Game 1: To be determined
  • Or: FLA Live Arena, sunrise
  • Television/Broadcast: TBA national television (ESPN or TNT/TBS)
  • Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE
  • Full schedule: To be determined

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING

  • Regular Season Series — Tied 2-2: Florida 4, @Lightning 1 (October 19); @ Lightning 3, Florida 2 OT (13 Nov); @Florida 9, Lightning 3 (December 30); Tampa Bay 8, @Florida 4 (April 24).
  • All-regular time season series: Panthers lead 73-49-18, 10 draws
  • Playoff history: Second meeting; Tampa Bay d. Florida 4-2 in R1, 2021
  • Round 1 – Florida d. Washington 4-2 — Game 1: Washington 4, @Florida 2; Game 2: @Florida 5, Washington 1; Game 3: @Washington 6, Florida 1; Game 4: Florida 3, @Washington 2 (OT); Game 5: @Florida 5, Washington 3; Game 6: Florida 4, Washington 3 (OT).
  • Round 1 – Tampa Bay d. Toronto 4-3

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