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Flyers close gap on Hawks with OT win

PHILADELPHIA – Twice, the Philadelphia Flyers needed video replay to decide if a goal counted.

One did, one didn’t.

Claude Giroux didn’t need the officials to check his winner.

Giroux scored 5:59 into overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 victory over Chicago in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night, cutting the Blackhawks’ series lead to 2-1. Game 4 is Friday night in Philadelphia.

Giroux scored on a redirection off Matt Carle’s pass, beating Antti Niemi to decide the third straight one-goal game in the series.

“I tried to get a stick on it, and it just trickled in,” Giroux said. “Our line started playing well, so anytime your line’s going you just play better I think. The whole team just showed up tonight, and we really wanted that win.

“Desperation was the key word, I think. It’s almost do-or-die.”

The Flyers already rallied to win a series after dropping the first three games to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. While they talked all week about having faith they could do it again, the Flyers won’t have to try.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said Giroux, who has nine postseason goals, was loose all day.

“He was smiling all day, came to the arena and had a great game. Talented kid,” he said.

The Blackhawks, trying to win their first Stanley Cup title since 1961, snapped a seven-game winning streak and a seven-game road winning streak.

Giroux ended the game moments after Simon Gagne thought he scored the winner, only to have replay officials rule the puck didn’t cross the goal line.

The game kept going – but not for long.

It was the second time replay was needed to determine a Flyers’ goal. They went 1 for 2 – but, oh, how huge that one was for the Flyers in their first Stanley Cup home game since 1997.

Scott Hartnell had a no-goal overturned by replay to spark the Flyers to their first Cup win since 1987. Danny Briere and Ville Leino also scored for the Flyers, helping them win a game they desperately needed to avoid their second 3-0 hole of the playoffs. Michael Leighton made 24 saves for the Flyers.

Giroux’s goal was the only shot in OT for the Flyers. Niemi stopped 28 shots in the third straight thriller in the series.

Duncan Keith, Brent Sopel and Patrick Kane scored for the Blackhawks.

 
Tags: hockey, NHL

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