As we all expected, the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, as the hosts handed the visitors a 7-2 loss. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa had three-point nights, while the trio of Kris Versteeg, Michal Handzus, and Patrick Kane posted two-point games. Antti Raanta had the simple task of standing in net for Chicago, as he stopped 28 of the 30 shots Philly threw at him.
For the Orange and Black, Jakub Voracek and Steve Downie scored, while Ray Emery allowed six goals on 18 shots against. Steve Mason allowed one goal on five shots in 18:55 of relief to close out the game.
Chicago’s speed combined with the speed of the Flyers’ defense produced the much anticipated outcome. Philly stayed in it for the first period, but with a power-play goal within the first minute of the middle stanza, the Blackhawks awoke from their opening frame slumber and thrashed the Orange and Black. It’s another frustrating loss for the Flyers, but it isn’t all that surprising.
It looked promising in the first period, as the Flyers outshot the Blackhawks 10-6 and left the frame with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Voracek power-play goal. As he skated towards the net from the top of the circle to Raanta’s left, Voracek fired a shot that looked to be going wide of the net until Niklas Hjalmarsson accidentally altered the path of the puck to the back of the cage for the forward’s fifth of the season. This is where the fun stopped for Flyers’ fans.
As Kimmo Timonen opened in the second period in the box after holding Hossa in the final minute of the first period, a shot from Duncan Keith at the point found its way through traffic and beat Emery, who had no chance of seeing the shot. It took only 38 seconds for Andrew Shaw to convert on a wraparound attempt to make it 2-1 Blackhawks, as his bid found Emery’s five-hole for his 10th of the season.
A few minutes after Shaw’s tally, Brandon Saad went to the box for hooking. In the two minutes the American forward was in the sin bin, both Handzus and Downie scored to make it a 3-2 game with 13:49 left in the second period.
It wasn’t a one-goal game for long, as Saad made up for his penalty earlier in the period and set up Versteeg for a dunk to make it 4-2 Chicago. Later in the frame, a Sharp shot from the point hit Jonathan Toews in the chest and beat Emery to make it 5-2 entering the final stanza.
A tally from Brent Seabrook on a weak play from the blue line led to Emery being chased from the net, as Mason came in for the former Blackhawk. The former Columbus Blue Jacket only saw Sharp beat him on a power-play bid to finalize the score at 7-2.
Hopefully, the Flyers rebound quickly before they lose at home tomorrow night against the Montreal Canadiens to make it a four-game losing streak.
Notes: The Flyers went 2-3-1 on their six-game road trip with wins over the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators…Tonight marked the first time Voracek scored in back-to-back games since he scored against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 20th and against the Boston Bruins on April 23rd…Philly has now allowed four goals against in three straight games and three goals against or more in four straight games…The Blackhawks had five goals in a period for the first time this season, as they recorded five in the second period…Kane recorded his 300th NHL assist on Sharp’s goal in the third period…The Flyers dropped to 3-6-1 against the Western Conference and to 2-3-1 against the Central Division…The Flyers are now 13-15-3. They were 13-16-2 after 31 games last season.