Nothing was going to stand in front of the Flyers tonight; not even the absence of the NHL's leading scorer.
With Claude Giroux back in Philadelphia nursing a concussion, the Flyers offense erupted in a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals on the road. It was the first Flyers win in Washington since the 2009 season.
Stepping into the centering role on the Flyers hottest line was eighth round draft pick Sean Couturier. Without Giroux, the top line didn't skip a beat when Scott Hartnell found twine for the sixth straight game, giving the Flyers an early 1-0 lead.
Hartnell's tally was his 15th on the season, good for second on the Flyers.
But it was also a milestone goal for the 29-year-old left-winner. It was the 200th goal for Hartnell, who tossed a soft shot at the net that got through Washington goalie Thomas Vokoun's five-hole.
The statement was deafening, as if a booming voice was speaking it over a loudspeaker.
"Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion"
Not feeling very good, gotten worse, out indefinitely?
In a year where Claude Giroux was proving his superstar-like talent every night in the NHL, it’s stunning. With one hit, those who have grown accustomed to watching the Hearst, Ontairo native are now relegated to the waiting game.
It’s eerie timing in the wake of the latest news regarding Sidney Crosby. Crosby, the game’s ubermensch is out for as long as symptoms still remain. Sadly, the let down after what many thought would be his final, and maybe last, return seems to tell the tale of the future.
As per the Flyers website, Claude Giroux has a concussion and will be out indefinitely.
According to general manager Paul Holmgren: "Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion."
This is terrible news for the Flyers, who currently have Chris Pronger and Brayden Schenn out indefinitely with concussion problems as well (Pronger also had knee surgery).
Giroux's concussion came as a freak accident in the Flyers 5-2 win over the Lightning on Saturday. Giroux, who was down on the ice, was hit in the back of the head by Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds' knee collided with Giroux when he tried to avoid him on the ice.
This is the big chance Sean Couturier has been waiting for.
Granted the 19-year-old wasn't in favor of it coming at the cost of Claude Giroux's noodle, Couturier is looking forward to shedding Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk as line mates in favor of a future Hall of Famer and one of the best goal-scoring pests in the NHL.
Couturier will see a promotion to the first scoring line with Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell tomorrow night in Washington.
In the second period of the Flyers 5-2 win over Tampa Bay, Giroux suffered a freak head injury. While down, forward Wayne Simmonds tried to avoid Giroux but caught him in the back of the head with his knee.
The last time these two teams met, the Flyers stood in their defensive zone, while the Lightning stood in the neutral zone. All the while, millions of people watching the nationally televised event began changing the channel to something that actually had a pulse.