Claude Giroux, the long-time Philadelphia Flyers captain who was dealt to Florida on Saturday, had two assists Thursday in his Panthers’ debut, helping his new team register a run-and-gun 4-3 victory in Montreal.
It took Giroux just 36 seconds to collect his first point with the Panthers, an assist on Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov’s even-strength goal, tying the game at 1-1. Robert Hagg, another former Flyer, had the primary assist.
Giroux later contributed an assist on Sam Reinhart’s power-play goal. He was plus-2 and had eight shot attempts, including four on goal.
With the Flyers, Giroux was used as a center and left winger. He played right wing Thursday on Florida’s top line, which included Barkov and left winger Carter Verhaeghe.
“Those guys are fast players, and Barkov can pretty much do whatever he wants,” Giroux said.
Giroux also played on Florida’s No. 1 power-play unit, which had five forwards on it, and on the penalty kill.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of fun playing together,” Barkov said before scoring his 27th goal of the season.
Barkov and Giroux took turns on faceoffs in the game.
In addition to Giroux, defensemen Ben Chiarot and Hagg made their Florida debuts Thursday.
“I thought they fit in well,” Florida interim coach Andrew Brunette said. “It was nice to see them on the ice together, and now we work to get a little chemistry and rhythm.”
Hagg, Giroux, defenseman Radko Gudas, and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky are former Philadelphia Flyers on the Panthers.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 24, 2022
Giroux, 34, had not played since he appeared in his 1,000th career game, all with the Flyers, a week ago in an emotional 5-4 win over Nashville at the Wells Fargo Center.
He waived his no-movement clause for just one team, Florida, with the hope he can win his first Stanley Cup championship.
The Panthers, now 43-14-6, have the most points in the loaded Eastern Conference.