Flyers goalie Steve Mason was staring at the same fate that his backup goalie, Ray Emery, suffered through the week before in Chicago — having one of his worst games of the season happen against his old team. Mason wasn’t awful against his old Blue Jackets buddies Thursday night, but he was worse than he’d been lately, and lately he hasn’t been nearly as good as he was earlier in the season. But before he was forced to contemplate his slipping performances late in what was shaping up to be one of the worst Flyers losses of the season, Claude Giroux suddenly fashioned a highlight-worthy reprieve for everyone to remember. Giroux’s two goals in the closing minutes not only topped an incredible five-goal third period for the Flyers, they sealed a 5-4 win over Columbus that should be worth way more than the two points it registered on the Metropolitan Division standings scoreboard. From an aesthetic point of view, Giroux’s game-winning goal with 1:38 left to play was as beautiful as perhaps any he has scored. He was being tackled from behind by Blue Jackets defender David Savard, yet somehow was able to backhand a bullet as he was falling down that shot over the left shoulder of goalie Curtis McElhinney and snuck under the crossbar to ignite a Wells Fargo Center roar. “I was just trying to get it on net,” said Giroux, who piled up two goals and two assists in that third period alone. “It was at the end of the shift and I was a little tired, so I was just trying to get it on net.” This came just more than two minutes after Giroux had hurled himself netward to beat McElhinney to a rebound of a Michael Raffl shot that had hit the post and died near the crease. Giroux got there first for a game-tying goal. He was also the first to respond when Mason humbly thanked the team for the comeback after the game. “It was a tough game overall, there wasn’t a whole lot of flow (in) my game,” said Mason, who had watched Emery look similarly off his game eight nights earlier amid a 7-2 loss to the Blackhawks. “A couple of goals go by and you start maybe holding your stick a little tighter. But that third period, the guys really came through and showed the offensive force this team has.
Giroux gives Mason a hand as Flyers rally to stun Columbus
Delaware County Times | Dec 20