Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks welcomed the Philadelphia Flyers to the United Center. As everyone remembers the Blackhawks defeated the Flyers in route to their first championship since 1961. The Blackhawks are coming home on a two game winning streak in which they lit up Florida and Dallas for six goals each. The Flyers meanwhile are coming in on a two game losing streak to Dallas and Ottawa.
The United Center faithful welcomed back former Blackhawks and current Flyers goalie Ray Emery back with loud ovation. Emery did not acknowledge the crowd at all. Emery’s “acknowledgement” set the tone for the first period of the game.
1st period: This had to be one of the worst first periods the Blackhawks have played this season. They were constantly hit by the Flyers. The hits took them out of their game. The Flyers known as dirty team would waste no time living up to their label. Wayne Simmons took an early run at Duncan Keith. Sheldon Brookbank would drop the gloves with Simmons both netting five minute major penalties. This would start the slew of Blackhawks penalties in the 1st period. The Blackhawks would commit two additional penalties in the period. Brandon Bollig would commit a high stick. Marcus Kruger would get called for hooking later in the period. The Flyers would make the Blackhawks pay. Jakub Voracek scored the initial goal for the Flyers. Kimmo Timonen would commit a period very late in the period. The period would end with the Flyers leading 1-0.
2nd period: The second period would start with a Blackhawks goal barrage. The Blackhawks would still be on the power-play from the Timonen to start the second. The Blackhawks would make the Flyers pay. Duncan Keith would blast a shot past Ray Emery for his second goal of the season. The score was tied at 1. 30 seconds later, Andrew Shaw would complete a sweet wrap around shot to put the Blackhawks up 2-1. Brandon Saad would continue the steady stream of Blackhawks to the penalty box.
How do you fix the penalty kill? You score short hand goals. Michal Handzus “the penalty killing specialist” would do just that. Handzus would put the Blackhawks up 3-1. However the Blackhawks penalty kill woes would continue. Steve Downie would score a PP goal on the Saad penalty. The score would be 3-2 in favor of the Blackhawks. Three minutes after the Handzus goal, Kris Versteeg would get into the scoring action. Versteeg who has been playing well as of late netted his third goal of the season. The Blackhawks would lead 4-2 after the Versteeg goal. With the Blackhawks feeling it Patrick Sharp would blast a shot that Jonathan Toews would redirect for the goal. The Blackhawks would lead 5-2. Toews redeemed himself after being stonewalled twice by Emery earlier in the period.
Scott Hartnell would remind Blackhawks fan why we don’t like him with a hit on Toews. Bollig would go at Hartnell later in the period. The second period would end with the Blackhawks leading 5-2.
3rd period: Ray Emery came out to the start third period. He would not last long. Brent Seabrook would take a shot from the point that would ricochet off Dowie for the goal. The amazing part of Seabrook shot was that he broke his stick on it. That would be the end of the night for Ray Emery. The Blackhawks would lead 6-2.
The Flyers would then melt down taking runs and throwing elbows at the Blackhawks.
Scott Hartnell would be penalized for goalie interference. He ran into Antti Raanta. Luke Schenn would be penalized for elbowing Duncan Keith. Jay Rosehill would get two minutes for roughing on Duncan Keith. Andrej Meszaros would get two minutes for cross checking Ben Smith. After the Smith penalty, Coach Quenneville would put the top power-play unit back on the ice. Patrick Sharp would make the Flyers pay scoring the seventh goal of the night. The Blackhawks had not been using their top power play unit out of respect of the code in the NHL. Teams do not run up the score on other teams, however once the Flyers kept taking “liberties” with the Blackhawks. Coach Q said heck with the rule.
The physical play would continue as Jeremy Morin and Braydon Colburn got game misconducts. Morin would also get a roughing penalty. The final score was 7-2 in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks.
NEWS AND NOTES:
- The Blackhawks have scored six or more goals in three games in a row.
- The Blackhawks three game average is 6.33 goals per game.
- This is the first time in over 20 years that Blackhawks have averaged more than 6 goals a game.
- Joel Quenneville is one win away from being fourth all time in victories in the history of the NHL.
- Antti Raanta is now 5-0-1 on the season.
- Patrick Kane extended his point streak to seven games adding an assist. That is 19 points in his last 20 games.
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