Game 4 Notes: DeBoer upset over Giroux's hit


NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils head coach Peter DeBoer wasnt pleased. In the interview room after the game, DeBoer didnt hesitate when asked for his opinion about Claude Girouxs hit on Dainius Zubrus late in the second period (see story).

For me, it looks like text book, the kind of hits theyre trying to get out of the game, DeBoer said. I understand Gary Bettman and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly were here Sunday. Im sure theyll look at that.

Shortly before the second intermission, Zubrus was skating up ice when Giroux approached from his left. After Zubrus dumped the puck, Girouxs right shoulder connected with Zubruss head. Zubrus fell to the ice, but returned in the third period.

I was just trying to finish my hit, Giroux said. Zubrus kind of leaned in and tried to chip the puck in. I didnt see the replay, so I dont know. Im not a dirty player. I dont want to hit guys on the head. I was just trying to finish my hit there.

DeBoer obviously disagreed with that account, though he stopped short when asked whether he thought Giroux should be suspended for the hit.

Thats for people to make decisions above me, DeBoer said.

Getting chippy
The Flyers expected theyd be greeted this series with the Devils notorious smothering defense.

What they didnt expect, Danny Briere said, was some of the more subtle stuff theyve gotten away with through the series first four games.

What Im surprised with is probably the slashes to the hands and the tugs to the hands that theyre getting away with, Briere said. But besides that, we knew that they were going to be a tough team to play against. They have big defensemen and they keep things simple, to their credit right now.

Out of line
For the third time in three games, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette elected to shuffle up his lines.

For most of Sunday night, Laviolette placed Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell on a line with Danny Briere, James van Riemsdyk and Wayne Simmonds on a line with Claude Giroux, and Jaromir Jagr on a line with Matt Read and Brayden Schenn.

The results were mixed in Thursday nights overtime loss. The results were even less impressive in Game 4.

Obviously we got to try to do something to mix it up, Kimmo Timonen said. And its been now three games that we havent skated the way we can skate. And to me, everything starts with skating. When we skate, were a really good team. When we dont, everything goes out the window and it looks like that right now.

Single digits
In each of the eight periods that preceded the third period Sunday night, the Flyers sent fewer than 10 shots on goal. And in that third period, they barely achieved double-digits, sending in their 10th shot in the games final seconds.

Thats not a way to win hockey games.

I think were not working, Claude Giroux said. The effort is there, but were just not working well. That gets us not a lot of shots.

Special teams
The Flyers were 1 for 2 on the power play and killed off 4 of 5 Devils power plays.

The difference is, that one power play goal given up was enough to tie the game, 2-2.

Theyre power play and penalty kill has been great and theyve outhit us, too, Scott Hartnell said.

Said Timonen, "It's their game and the way they kill penalties. It's like five on five. They really pressure us hard and skate and making us make bad plays. We got one (PPG) today but we can do even a better job there. I'm not worried about the power play but the five on five and our skating. How do we get a forecheck going?"

Laviolette on Hartnell and Girouxs penalties:

"I think they're frustrated, Laviolette said. Scott probably doesn't believe he was a penalty because of it. Claude probably thinks Martin Brodeur played the puck outside the line. And showed frustration because of it. It was definitely frustration for things that happened just prior to that."

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