More of the same for NHL, NHLPA; what's next?

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More of the same for NHL, NHLPA; what's next?

Another week has gone by. And it was another week of no progress between the NHL and NHLPA. Talking to each other, talking with a mediator, it doesnt matter: the lockout drags on, reaching Day 76 on Friday.

So where do the league and players association go from here?

Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested that the league and PA brass stay out of the next negotiation session, allowing owners and players to meet without them. The NHLPA did have an internal conference call planned today; as of this writing, theres been no report of whether or not itll go with Bettmans suggestion.

The two sides are running out of ideas to get something done. The only thing they seem to agree on is that theyre far apart.

So what about decertification? The NHLPA has discussed it internally; and considering how things have gone, it may be the next step. Players have their own thoughts on the possibility.

It makes sense when this lockout has gone this long and theres been no movement from the NHL and massive concessions from the players, Blackhawks defenseman and player representative Steve Montador said recently. Its unfortunate that we have to consider such measures, but its a serious one.

Jonathan Toews said decertification is an option. Im not sure if its the most imminent choice right now. But at some point the players have certain negotiating tactics that we need to use. Up until now its been a waiting game. Waiting to see if the NHL means business, if they have the nerve to take it as far as they have. Here we are almost in December, and they look like they couldnt care less.

A lot of people on the outside think the players are standing up for something that doesnt really mean anything, that in the end and in the future its not a lot of money. But it goes beyond that, Toews said. If we agree upon a six-year deal right now, whos to say the league wont try this again in six years? As players, we need to be strong and show them that, it doesnt matter what the terms are. We work hard for our contracts and work hard to get to where we are and to put on a show for the fans every single night. Theres a massive price to pay to get to this level. And (being) pushed around by our employer isnt going to happen.

The National Basketball Players Association went that route last year. On Nov. 10, 2011, the NBA issued a proposal to the NPBA, which the latter group rejected. A few days later, the NPBA voted to go forward with decertification. On Nov. 26, 2011, the two sides reached a tentative deal; 12 days later the NBAs board of governors ratified the deal and, on Christmas Day, the NBA was back.

Players are hoping that, if they take the decertification route, a quick resolution would come in the NHL, too.

Right now, its a viable option for us, Troy Brouwer said earlier this week. If nothing is going to push the owners to even want to negotiate, maybe this will force their hand. Were discussing it internally. I dont know if itll be our next move, but its definitely in the dialogue. If its our most viable option, well move toward it and get the process started.

Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Flyers; Bulls fall in Dallas

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USA TODAY

Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Flyers; Bulls fall in Dallas

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago:

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

Rough second period sinks Blackhawks in loss to Flyers

Bulls fall flat in blowout loss in Dallas

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Penn State erases three-touchdown deficit to best Badgers in Big Ten Championship Game

How Cubs are setting the expectations for winter meetings

Blackhawks: Corey Crawford undergoes appendectomy, out 2-3 weeks

Illini defense dominant in capping bounce-back week with win over VCU

Blackhawks sign goalie with no NHL experience to serve as emergency backup

Wide receiver Corey Holmes will transfer from Notre Dame

Rough second period sinks Blackhawks in loss to Flyers

Rough second period sinks Blackhawks in loss to Flyers

PHILADELPHIA — Ivan Provorov admitted he was motivated to make his second career game against the Chicago Blackhawks a lot better than his first.

The 19-year-old rookie defenseman did just that, scoring twice and prevented one by the Blackhawks to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat Chicago 3-1 on Saturday.

Provorov was on the ice for five Blackhawks goals in their 7-4 at home over the Flyers on Oct. 18.

"I didn't play my best in that game, but I put it behind me, learned from it and it was a better result tonight," Provorov said "I tried to use it as a positive thing and prove that's not me."

Provorov scored 31 seconds apart early in the second period to help the Flyers get their fourth straight win. Brayden Schenn also scored and Steve Mason stopped 26 shots.

Artemi Panarin scored his ninth of the season for the Blackhawks, who lost in regulation for the first time in five games, snapping a 3-0-1 streak. Scott Darling had 27 saves in his eighth appearance of the season.

Darling was pressed into action after starter Corey Crawford underwent an emergency appendectomy.

"His procedure went pretty well today, he's probably going to be out two to three weeks," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Thanks to our medical staff and the Flyers' medical staff today. They did a great job of helping us out."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Chicago was also without captain Jonathan Toews for the fourth straight game. Sidelined with a lower body injury, Toews remained in Chicago and is questionable for Sunday's home game against his hometown Winnipeg Jets.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring 3:44 in when Panarin took a pass from Artem Anisimov and one-timed a shot past Mason for his ninth of the season and his first in five games.

Provorov took over from there. The Flyers' top pick in the 2015 NHL draft (seventh overall) tied the score 3:02 into the second period when he blasted a shot past Darling for his second career NHL goal.

Provorov gave the Flyers the lead 31 seconds later when he wristed a shot that fluttered past Darling's blocker for the first two-goal game of his career.

"He is a guy that continues to work at his game, and continues to build," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said of Provorov. "He didn't do a whole lot different tonight than he has really over the last 10 games. It was nice to see a couple of those pucks go in for him. They were good plays by him and the other guys on the ice, obviously that is really important for us at that time in the hockey game."

Schenn gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead at the 8:37 of the second, taking a nice feed from rookie Travis Konecny and beating Darling from close range for his fourth.

The Flyers' biggest save of the night might have come from Provorov, who swatted a bouncing puck out of the goal crease with 3:22 remaining in the second period to preserve a two-goal lead.

The Blackhawks thought they scored when Richard Panik jabbed a loose puck under Mason's legs. But Provorov reached behind the goalie and swatted the puck off the goal line. After a video review, the officials ruled the replay inconclusive, denying Panik the goal.

"They obviously look at it real closely," Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "Of course we wanted the goal but you just have to trust that they are doing everything they can and I do think they look at is as much as they can, so they know more than I do, but obviously we wanted to have that goal, but it happens."

NOTES: Flyers D Radko Gudas was a healthy scratch for the first time this season and was replaced with D Brandon Manning, who missed the previous two games with a concussion. ... Blackhawks D Trevor van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup after missing 23 games with an upper body injury.

The Flyers' biggest save of the night might have come from Provorov, who swatted a bouncing puck out of the goal crease with 3:22 remaining in the second period to preserve a two-goal lead.

Chicago backup goalie Scott Darling, pressed into action after projected starter Corey Crawford underwent an emergency appendectomy, finished with 27 saves.