Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blackhawks Shutout in Philly, 3-0.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers faced off on NHL's Rivalry Night.  Let's say right now that their idea of a "Power Play Cam" or whatever God awful crap they want to call that drone camera angle, sucks.

Now that we've got that out of the way, a nice pre-game ceremony for Kimmo Timonen was held celebrating his NHL career where he played seven of his seventeen year career with the Flyers while ending his career with the Blackhawks and his one and only Stanley Cup Championship.

In the first three games of this young NHL season, the Blackhawks were short-handed a grand total of 4 times.  They surpassed that tonight in just over one and half periods.

In the first period, the goalies and both defenses were the story as the teams skated to a scoreless tie.  The Hawks were whistled for two penalties, but were able to kill them off.  A total of 14 shots were split between the teams (Flyers-8, Hawks-6).

The second period saw the Blackhawks earn 3 more penalties within the period.  One of them cost them as Ryan Garbutt received a 2 minute high-sticking penalty.  On the ensuing power play, Sam Gagner scored on a slapshot that Corey Crawford never saw, to put the Flyers up 1-0, 5:35 into the period.  With 3 minutes remaining, the Blackhawks with a bad line change saw Claude Giroux in front of the net by himself to put back a puck past Crawford to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead into the third period.  The Blackhawks were outshot after 2 periods 23-15.

The third period saw the Blackhawks play hard, swarming the Flyer net only to have pucks bounce off of their sticks or the wrong way.  They had seven scoring chances within the first half of the period.  They had a 5-on-3 for 23 seconds, but did not move the puck around to even generate a shot.  Flyer goalie, Michal Neuvirth had an answer for every shot taken and earned his second shutout in as many games.  With 2:35 left in the game, Matt Read, somehow, was able to get around 4 Blackhawks, pick up a rebound in front of the net, untouched, and buried a shot past Crawford to give the Flyers their final goal of the night and end the game 3-0.

The Blackhawks streak of not winning a regular season game in Philadelphia continues yet for another year.  Their last win was a 4-1 victory.  In November, 1996.  One can't complain too much.  They did win two very important games in June, 2010, one being the clincher in their first Stanley Cup Championship that ended a 49 year drought.

Notable Interests: Viktor Tikhonov played the third period on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.  He looked better than Garbutt, but still couldn't dent the net although he helped create scoring chances.  Toews won 15 of 20 faceoffs.  The Blackhawks ended with 6 penalties in the game.  They were 0 for 5 on the power play.

Three Stars of the Game: 1st - PHI - Michal Neuvirth (30 saves) , 2nd - PHI - Claude Giroux (1G), 3rd - PHI - Sam Gagner (1G)

Next game: Tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th, at Washington Captials, 6:00pm CT

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