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POSTGAME 5: Pick-ing it up

Pickard stops 34 shots in 5-2 win over Coyotes to end West Coast swing

by Flyers & Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

Claude Giroux posted a three-point night, including a pair of goals, while Cal Pickard stopped 34 shots to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 win over the Coyotes at Arizona on Monday night.

The Flyers got out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere, but the Coyotes closed the gap to within one as Alex Galchenyuk tallied a power-play goal. Sean Couturier made it 3-1 after an odd play in which Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper was hit by his own player leaving Couturier with an empty net.

Giroux added his second of the game in the third period and Oskar Lindblom tallied empty-netter to wrap up the first of the home-and-home series against the Coyotes.

Stars of the Game: 
1 - Claude Giroux (2g-1a)
2 - Calvin Pickard (34 saves)
3 - Alex Galchenyuk (1g)

TURNING POINT
Tonight's turning point came in the third period with the Coyotes pressing, but opportunity knocked at the 6:35 mark and the Flyers answered... On a Coyotes turnover near the offensive blueline, Wayne Simmonds pounced on the puck hustled up ice. On a delayed penalty on Arizona, Simmonds controlled the puck with one hand and then fed Giroux. The captain finished it off for a 4-1 Flyers lead.Video: PHI@ARI: Giroux goes to backhand for pretty goal

MELTZER'S TAKE

1) The Coyotes came out pressuring from the opening shift of the first period. The Flyers were also guilty of several turnovers that required Cal Pickard to come up with big saves to keep the game scoreless early. Eventually, the Flyers started to counter-punch and Philly turned an even strength goal through a screen and deflected power play goal into a 2-0 lead at the first intermission... With 5:32 left in the second period, Pickard made an excellent save on a turnaround shot from the slot by Clayton Keller... He was the Flyers' best player in the middle stanza.

2) The Flyers scored first by taking advantage of a couple of Coyotes turnovers up high in their defensive zone. Quick passes from Shayne Gostisbehere to Sean Couturier to Claude Giroux and a screen in from of Kuemper by Travis Konecny as Giroux shot combined give the Flyers the first goal in all four games of the road trip.

3) The second period turned into a special teams battle (three Flyers penalties, one to Arizona) and the Flyers had to weather a storm for awhile after the Coyotes struck for a power play goal. Late in the period, the Flyers generated some attack again and rebuilt a two-goal lead..... Pickard continued to make clutch saves in the third period, and an opportunistic Flyers goal built a three-goal lead.Video: PHI@ARI: Pickard stops Strome's quick shot

4) The Flyers rebuilt a two-goal lead at 17:05 of the second period. Travis Sanheim jumped up in the neutral zone on a loose puck and Konecny worked a give-and-go with him. Giroux wasn't quite able to get to the puck in front. Meanwhile, Kuemper was bumped into by Michael Grabner, taking him behind the net. Kevin Connauton's clearing attempt went directly to Couturier at the top of the right circle near the half boards. Now Couturier had time to wind up and fire a slap shot into a yawning net.

5) The Flyers staged a strong kill on a Christian Folin holding penalty at 10:50 of the third period. However, with 5:56 left, Richard Panik redirected a Grabner shot from up high into the net to cut the deficit to 4-2... With an empty net goal on a backhander from the blueline, Lindblom (still smarting from an earlier shot block) iced the win, extended his (and Patrick's) point streak and sealed a 7-point road trip.

JUST THE STATS

* The Flyers complete their four-game road trip with a 3-0-1 record and seven out of a possible eight points.

* The Flyers began the West Coast trip in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference with eight points... After going 3-0-1 and earning seven out of eight points, they are now tied for second in the Metro with 15 points.

* With his assist on the second goal, Claude Giroux tied Bill Barber for second all-time in Flyers history with 280 power-play points. Bob Clarke is #1 with 333 power-play points.

* The following players had points in all four games on the California Trip:
 
Nolan Patrick (2g-4a)
Oskar Lindblom (2g-4a)

* After going nine of their first 11 games giving up the first goal, the Flyers scored the opening goal in all four games of the road trip... The Flyers improved their record to 3-1-1 when scoring first.

THEY SAID ITVideo: Hear from Pickard, Lindblom and Giroux following winVideo: Hear from Hakstol following 5-2 win over ARI

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