On a couple of different occasions this year, longtime partners Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have been split up by Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.
The breakup was more to spread the wealth than it was for anything that was happening on the ice. With the impressive addition of Johnny Oduya at the trade deadline, the original plan from the coach was to pair the new guy with Seabrook. It looked great on paper until they were on the ice for all three first period goals by the Toronto Maple Leafs last Wednesday.
The partnership lasted all of 20 minutes, and it doesn't mean they won't be paired together again. But what it did do was force the coaching staff to reconfigure on the fly, and what's happened since then is three straight victories, allowing only three goals against in the last eight periods.
Which brings us back to the happy reunion of Keith and Seabrook.
There's a comfort level that exists between Keith and Seabrook. They are best friends off the ice, roommates on the road and one of the most formidable shutdown duos in the entire NHL on the ice.
They've basically been paired together since then-coach Trent Yawney put them together as rookies almost seven years ago. There's a comfort level and predictability you attain when playing with a partner for that long. A lot of their communication on the ice goes unsaid, they just know where the other guy will be at any time.
It's been been fun to watch these two defensemen grow the last seven years, and with the long-term contracts they both signed last year, Blackhawk fans will have the pleasure of watching these two for a long time to come.
PHILADELPHIA — Rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov scored two goals and prevented another to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday.
Provorov, 19, scored 31 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Flyers 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.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
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.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford underwent an appendectomy in a Philadelphia hospital on Saturday morning and will be sidelined 2-3 weeks, according to head coach Joel Quenneville.
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry released this statement prior to the the Blackhawks game against the Flyers regarding Crawford:
"Corey presented this morning with acute appendicitis. He is undergoing an appendectomy today at a Philadelphia hospital. We are anticipating a full recovery and return to play. We will provide details regarding the timeline of his return after we have more information about the surgery.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Scott Darling got the start in Saturday's loss to the Flyers, and the Blackhawks signed 23-year-old Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout to serve as an emergency backup goalie. He played club hockey at Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey Jersey's Wildcats.
Crawford has been lights out for the Blackhawks this season, owning a 12-6-1 record with a 2.27 goals against average and .927 save percentage, including two shutouts.