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Flyers beat Ducks in OT to spoil Boudreau's debut

by Curtis Zupke /
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The NHL's most potent offense flexed its muscles and stole all the thunder from Bruce Boudreau's Anaheim coaching debut Friday night.

After they weathered an adrenaline-filled Ducks team that raced to a three-goal lead, the Philadelphia Flyers score four unanswered goals, winning 4-3 on Claude Giroux's power-play goal with 91 seconds remaining in overtime.

Giroux, stationed in the left circle, rocketed a pass from Danny Briere past Jonas Hiller to delight a large segment of a Honda Center crowd divided between Flyers fans and Ducks fans who came out for Boudreau's first game.

That it came against a team playing its first game for a new coach meant something to the Flyers, who also got two goals from Jaromir Jagr in his return to the lineup. Philadelphia outshot Anaheim 47-22.

"They came out pretty strong and obviously they've got pretty good players that can put the puck in the net," Giroux said. "They made a couple of mistakes at the end, and we kind of re-grouped as a team.

"To be able to come back on the road like that is pretty fun. Guys don't quit, we had a lot of energy and guys can skate. Anytime you play a game like that, it's pretty fun."

Giroux's goal came during a four-minute power play after Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf hooked Jakub Voracek 41 seconds into overtime and drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for complaining to the officials. That additional penalty was the difference because Anaheim killed off the first two minutes.

"It won't happen again," the Ducks captain said. "That kind of penalty at the end of the game hurt our group tonight. I'll take that on me and we'll go forward from there.

"I've said a lot worse to referees. I'm not afraid to admit that. At the end of the game like that, it's tough to make that call. I definitely regret what I did and it won't happen again."

Boudreau, hired when Randy Carlyle was let go on Wednesday night, drew cheers when he was introduced on the video screen before the start of the game – and his team gave him a 2-0 lead in the first 11 minutes.

But Anaheim's legs began to get sapped chasing Philadelphia's forwards. The Flyers wound up with nine power plays and scored three times with the extra man.

Ironically, Boudreau needed a crash course on his own team but was very familiar with the Flyers from his four-plus seasons coaching the Washington Capitals -- the Caps fired him Monday, two days before he was hired by the Ducks.

"You're not going to beat that club if you take (11) minors," Boudreau said. "I played against them too many times. They have too much skill and are the highest scoring team in the league for a reason. It was one of the things I was a little worried about."

Boudreau took positives out of the game, though, and Anaheim looked much looser offensively.

"There is more skill up front than I thought there was," Boudreau said. "The energy and enthusiasm on the bench was really good. Everybody left everything they had on the ice. It wasn't a question of people not giving it their all. They tried hard."

The Flyers trailed 3-1 after two periods, but Jagr's one-timer during a 5-on-3 power play early in the period made it a one-goal game. Scott Hartnell banged in Kimmo Timonen's pass from behind the goal line to tie it 3-3 with 3:02 remaining to force OT.

Jagr made it 3-1 when Timonen's wrist shot deflected off him and dipped through Hiller's legs at 15:18 of the second, giving the Flyers a spark.

"Even when we were down 2-0, 3-0, we didn't play that bad," Jagr said. "We had some shifts where we cycled the puck really well. And it was just a matter of time as to when the puck would go in."

Giroux said that Hiller was cheating toward Jagr's side on the game-winner, but Jagr joked that, "I was open for a minute there. I talked to the coach: ‘I need another Czech guy there.' I'm not going to get a pass from those guys."

Jagr also said his sore groin held up for the most part.

"It feels better as the game goes on," he said. "I had a shift where I thought I was going to puke."

Andrew Cogliano and Teemu Selanne scored to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead just 10:34 into the game. It became 3-0 at 6:31 of the second on Andrew Gordon's first goal as a Duck and second in the NHL -- the other came on Dec. 21, 2010, when Gordon was playing for Boudreau in Washington.

But the Ducks were skating uphill from there.

"When you play against the highest-scoring team in the NHL, they're going to take some chances," center Saku Koivu said. "At this point we have to analyze why we took so many penalties and how we can get away from that.

"A change is not going to happen over one night over one game. It's going to be a long process. We've got to stick with that and stay positive."

Brayden Schenn returned to Philadelphia's lineup for the first time since he suffered a broken foot in late October.

It was only the third appearance by Philadelphia in Anaheim in the past five seasons.
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