By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers head out on a short road trip looking for answers after losing three of their last four games. Injuries have taken their toll as Nolan Patrick and Shayne Gostisbehere along with Andrew MacDonald did not accompany the team on the two game trip.
First period: The Blackhawks get the early jump which results in quality chances from Lance Bouma and John Hayden. Provorov throws a nice pass off the boards to Filppula, who was denied on the breakaway, and the Blackhawks took back control. Filppula took a high-sticking call, but the 28th-ranked powerplay of chicago couldnt capitalize with only one good chance coming from Patrick Kane. Connor Murphy threw a big questionable check on Taylor Leier at center ice, then Scott Laughton dropped the gloves and drops Murphy. There was no penalty on the hit.
Provorov dumped the puck into the zone and Crawford pursued, but the puck took a bad bounce which was swatted at by Couturier, somehow Crawford kept it out. Panik answered with a chance of his own but Elliott kept it out. Filppula was denied on a great wrap-around opportunity, and was called for hooking as soon as the Hawks brought the puck back into the offensive zone. an unimpressive powerplay from the Hawks is how the period ends.
Second period: the Blackhawks start the period with 27 seconds of powerplay time, bit the Flyers killed it off. Alt then took a penalty for delay of game as the puck bounced off of his stick into the netting. The Flyers killed it off relatively easy. Filppula found Sanheim on a breakaway after the penalty, but Crawford made the save. The game opened up after the penalties until Brandon Manning took a holding call. The fourth time was the charm as Artem Anisimov immediately capitalized on the powerplay.
20 seconds later Toews scored on a breakaway after the puck bounced over Robert Hagg’s stick. Toews then took the Hawks first penalty of the game, but the Flyers failed to capitalize. almost instantly after, Bouma took a tripping call, sending the Flyers back to the powerplay, and yet again Blackhawks killed it off with ease. The Flyers did seem to gain momentum after the powerplay and spent quality time in the offensive zone, but didn’t get any good chances.
Third period: The period opened with more even play from both teams. Toews took a tripping penalty, but yet again the Flyers didn’t capitalize, but they did have their best pressure of the game. The Blackhawks took control around the 10 minute mark and never looked back as the Flyers looked gassed. DeBrincat scored on the empty net, sealing the Blackhawks 3-0 win.
Takeaways– Radko Gudas missed most of the second and all of the third period with an upper-body injury. This wasn’t a bad showing from the Flyers, and even kept pace with the Blackhawks for most of the game. It’s a tough loss, but overall not a bad game, especially with a very inexperienced blueline.
Three Stars of the Game:
3) Valtteri Filppula
2) Artem Anisimov
1) Corey Crawford
photo credit: youtube.com