Philadelphia Flyers right wing Claude Giroux, left, celebrates with Danny Briere, center, and Chris Pronger, right, after Giroux scored the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey finals Wednesday, June 2, 2010, in Philadelphia. The Flyers won 4-3. The Blackhawks lead the series 2-1. Mel Evans, AP

When you think of the Flyers' offense, you usually think of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne and Danny Briere.

When you think of their defense, it's all about Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen.

But on Wednesday night, two less-heralded players in their second seasons with Philadelphia stepped into the spotlight when they hooked up for a spectacular game-winning goal in overtime as the Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.

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Matt Carle, 25, might not be overshadowed literally by his 6-foot-6 defense partner, Pronger, but Pronger's dominance on the ice and outspokenness off it frequently make Carle an afterthought.

Claude Giroux, meanwhile, centers the Flyers' third line, taking the ice while the big-name forwards get a rest. The 22-year-old's wingers in Game 3 were Dan Carcillo and Arron Asham, both known more for their tenacity than their scoring touch.

But anyone who has watched the Flyers all season shouldn't have been surprised when Carle threaded a perfect pass to a cutting Giroux in front of the net in overtime, and Giroux smoothly redirected it past Chicago goalie Antti Niemi to set off a celebration at the Wachovia Center.

"I think you're seeing (Carle making) the good first outlet pass, him jumping into the play, him making good, smart decisions," Pronger said after Wednesday's game. "And a lot of times, as I've said before, his defensive play gets overlooked. He's very solid one-on-one. He may not be running guys over out there, but he gets in the way and forces guys to make mistakes."

Giroux, meanwhile, struggled in the first two games of the series and had his winger opposite Asham shuffled several times, from James van Riemsdyk to Simon Gagne to Carcillo.

"I think he loosened up a bit," coach Peter Laviolette said. "You have to remember, it's the Stanley Cup finals. I think he came in, and we talked about it, to just lighten up a little bit. ... We talked about just having some fun tonight, come out and letting everything roll. Go after him, and I think he took that advice, because he was smiling all day.

"He came to the rink and went out and played a great game. Sometimes you need to loosen up a little bit. He's a talented kid."


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