By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers finish up the season series with the Blackhawks after losing in a valent effort to the Hawks eight days ago. Luckily the Flyers defense continues to get healthy as Radko Gudas rejoins the lineup. Nolan Patrick is still no in the lineup, and Elliott will make the start as Neuvirth is under the weather.
First period: The Flyers take the early game momentum and got some early chances. Jake Voracek and Tommy Wingels both get sent to the box for roughing, but neither team scores on the four-on-four. The Flyers regain the momentum after the penalties and Voracek dishes a perfect pass to a wide open Claude Giroux for the game’s opening goal.
The game was still all Flyers, as both Travis Konecny and Valtteri Filppula both had great chances. The pinnacle happened when Ghost entered the zone and fed a perfect pass to Voracek for a goal. That assist gave Gostisbehere his 100th NHL point, the fastest Flyers defenseman to do so. Travis Sanheim took an interference call, but the Flyers allowed zero shots against, and Leier was denied on a shorthanded breakaway.
Second period: Brian Elliott had to make a huge save early on Panik. Lehtera was shaken up after getting hit by a Gudas slapshot, though he didn’t miss a shift. Couturier scores after yet another great pass, this time from Claude Giroux. What followed was a back and fourth period with multiple good chances by both teams.
Connor Murphy (son of Gord, for those unaware) scored for the Hawks as the period started to wind down. Gudas took a penalty for tripping Tommy Wingels then 16 seconds later Provorov took a penalty for delay of game, giving the Blackhawks 1:44 of five-on-three time. Elliott made a few big saves but the Flyers kill of both penalties as the second period came to an end.
Third period: It was a much slower start for both teams, but the desperation for the Blackhawks was palpable as they scrambled for offense. Chicago owned the play for much of the period. Toews took a slashing call, though they killed it off after an uninspiring powerplay from the Flyers. Philly continued to go through the motions, but Brian Elliott came up strong. A late Tommy Wingels penalty sealed the win for the Flyers 3-1.
Takeaways: The first 30 minutes for the Flyers was great, the last wasn’t. Individual performances were strong, as Manning, Sanheim, Couturier, Giroux, Elliott and Voracek all had great games. Overall another good showing from the top line, and the fourth line was great as well.
Three Stars of the Game:
3) Brian Elliott
2) Jake Voracek
1) Claude Giroux
PHI- Giroux (Voracek)
PHI- Voracek (Gostisbehere-Giroux)
PHI- Couturier (Giroux-Voracek)
CHI: Murphy (Bouma-Rutta)
Shots- PHI (31) – CHI (39)
Photo credit: cbsphilly.com