Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011
Posted: 2:04 p.m. Updated: 3:46 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
The Chicago Blackhawks needed a second consecutive complete game on Sunday. Instead, they got behind in the second period against a Philadelphia Flyers team that was more than ready to capitalize.
Jeff Carter scored twice and Claude Giroux had four assists as the Flyers beat the Blackhawks 4-1, their first meeting since the Stanley Cup Finals. The loss snapped a four-game home winning streak for the Blackhawks, who didnt push back after the Flyers grabbed control in the second period.
Jonathan Toews played nearly 20 minutes one day after he said he sustained a lower-body injury against Detroit. Toews sat out the final few minutes of that game, which the Blackhawks led late, and said the injury was nothing serious; obviously it felt pretty good (today).
I look at it two ways: youre either good enough to go or youre not. I felt I was good enough, Toews said. Whether playing with something or 100 percent, have to find a way to produce.
The Blackhawks, however, couldnt find that way on Sunday. Marian Hossa scored the lone goal, a penalty shot awarded to him after Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn put his hand on the puck near the crease. But Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped the other 30 shots, most of which were one-time Blackhawks offerings with no second or third attempts.
It seems like there were a few rebounds around him but we couldnt get there, Hossa said. We have to be, especially in these games, maybe more dirty going to the net and get those little rebounds there.
Both teams brought energy and venom in the first period, which ended scoreless. Bryan Bickell and Scott Hartnells fight added a little more fuel to the opening frame.
But the Flyers turned it up in the second period, swarming around Corey Crawford and fighting for those extra shot opportunities. The Flyers went up 1-0 when Carter, in the midst of a scrum, poked the puck past Crawford.
A lot of it comes from good defense, breaking plays up, and getting odd-man rushes, Carter said. I think weve been pretty solid in that area and hopefully we can keep going at it.
The Flyers outshot the Blackhawks 19-9 in the second. Crawford stopped 30 of 33 for the game.
The bottom line is they started to outwork us, Niklas Hjalmarsson said of the second. They played real good, at the same time we didnt play like we did (Saturday). If you have a couple bad moments against a team like Philly theyre going to score on you.
Nikolay Zherdev scored the game-winner, a wraparound, early in the third. Carter scored his after Giroux grabbed an errant Blackhawks pass less than three minutes later.
We werent on the same page and that made it harder to be predictable, especially in the offensive zone, Toews said. We came out flat, and against a team like that its not easy to come back.
More on Toews
Toews played nearly 20 minutes on Sunday, playing through that lower-body injury. Asked if Toews needs to rest on Monday, coach Joel Quenneville said, well see. We have a big game coming up on Tuesday (against Minnesota, so well see whats going on.
The Cup rematch
The Flyers made their first trip back to Chicago since Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals last June. If the Flyers were thinking about redemption, they werent talking about it.
Its obviously nice to beat Chicago with the way last year ended; nothing was said in the room before, Jeff Carter said. Each guy individually knew what was going on today and it was a big two points for us.
While the Blackhawks have had their ups and downs, the Flyers have just been up. Their 69 points leads not only the Eastern Conference, but its also tops in the NHL.
Theyre a top team for a lot of reasons, coach Joel Quenneville said. Theyve got a lot of weapons and their goalie was strong in net.
Marian Hossa's goal on a penalty shot was the first by a Blackhawk at the United Center and the first overall for the franchise since 1987. (AP)
Murrays reign over
When Hossa converted his third-period penalty shot, he became the first Blackhawks player to score one at the United Center. He was also the first Blackhawk to do it in Chicago since Troy Murray, who put one past Minnesota North Stars goaltender Kari Takko on Dec. 30, 1987.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.