PHILADELPHIA -- On a night when so many of the Philadelphia Flyers found a way to shine, Claude Giroux's star was as bright as anybody's.
Giroux has been a solid part of Philadelphia's success throughout this postseason and he showed why again in Sunday night's 6-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at the Wachovia Center.
Giroux had a goal and an assist and finished a team-best plus-4 in 18 minutes and 54 seconds of playing time. Giroux, who played on both the power play and the penalty kill, also had a hit, a takeaway, two blocked shots and won 9 of 14 faceoffs, including a set-play win that resulted in the James van Riemsdyk goal that made it 2-0 just 30 seconds into the second period.
Sunday night, Giroux discussed the series-opening win, as well as what still lays ahead for his team.
Q: What was the difference in the game tonight?
Giroux: I don't think we played very well in the first period and the message was there from the coach when we came back in the room. In the second period, I think we just kept it simple and started working the way we did against Boston. Any time we keep it simple and work hard, things happen for us.
Q: Was the key going to the net and creating traffic in front of (Jaroslav) Halak?
Giroux: Yeah, he was playing well in the playoffs, so we wanted to test him as much as we can and I think the guys in front of the net did a great job of blocking his view. You know what, it is only one game. You can win 6-0 or 1-0, it's still just a win and you have to be ready to go for next game.
Q: Why was the power play so successful tonight?
Giroux: We just kept it simple and tried to get pucks on net. Guys just stepped up in the second period there. Any time you get your whole team going and your goalie, that's good. It was a great team effort tonight.
Q: Did it feel different from the game two nights ago when you had no margin for error and now you have a whole series in front of you?
Giroux: Obviously it was an emotional series, that last one. We really wanted to get that first win and our fans were ready to go. Hopefully, they'll be ready to go that next game too.
Q: Do you think James (van Riemsdyk) has gotten into a little bit of a rhythm?
Giroux: Yeah, I do. Last two games, he has been one of our top players, for sure. He's skating well and his confidence is back. He wasn't playing bad before, but now it is going in. We're pretty happy for him.
Q: Can you just talk about what Michael Leighton has done since coming in for Brian Boucher?
Giroux: Even during the season, he was playing well for us. Obviously, it hurt when Bouch got hurt. But obviously, Leights has stepped up. He was ready to go and he played well for us.
Q: Do you think you guys are in Halak's head?
Giroux: He got pulled in the two other series and he came back pretty strong, so I don't think so.
Q: Were you guys conscious of them blocking so many shots and maybe holding the puck and waiting for the lane to clear?
Giroux: They are pretty good at getting in the lanes and we were just trying to get the puck through. They are obviously pretty good at blocking shots, so we were trying to get the pucks on net and I think that is what we did tonight.