Some people shy away from it, others embrace it. Claude Giroux said after Friday night's Game 5 that he loves pressure; he proved it on Sunday.
The Flyers center made a statement on his first shift, delivering a hard check to Sidney Crosby, and then scoring the game's first goal with a laser of a wrist shot past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
At his postgame press conference, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette revealed how Giroux came to him before the game, asking to play first shift. That was exactly what the Flyers coach was looking for. He knew Giroux was ready to play.
Giroux is quickly becoming one of the NHL's elite players, and performing at such a high level on the league's grandest stage only elevates his reputation. Finding an athlete that is willing to put a team on his back and produce the way Giroux has is what makes championship teams. He is now second in Flyers history for points in a playoff series with 14, after outplaying the much-hyped tandem of Sindey Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.