The Chicago Blackhawks broke their three game losing streak tonight, besting the Philadelphia Flyers with a score of 3-0.
The Blackhawks and the Flyers remained scoreless up until almost nine minutes into the second period, when Artem Anisimov extended his scoring streak to three games, burying a powerplay tally past Flyers goalie Brian Elliot. Twenty seconds later, Jonathan Toews scored a beauty of a goal on a breakaway to extend the lead 2-0. Blackhawks rookie Alex DeBrincat made the game out of reach for the visitors with an empty net goal with less than two minutes left in the game.
The Blackhawks are now one game above .500, with a record of 6-5-2. They are now in a three way tie for second in the Central Division with the Winnipeg Jets and the Dallas Stars. All three teams currently have 14 points.
Corey Crawford was just spectacular in net tonight, deflecting all 35 shots he faced, good enough for the 22nd shutout of his career. The Flyers never really had any sustained offensive chances the whole game, but Crow still faced some grade-A chances.
A Tale of Two Special Teams
We had a rare sighting tonight: A powerplay goal! It was the first powerplay goal that the Blackhawks have scored in the last 18 times that they’ve had the man advantage. But the Blackhawks shouldn’t rest on their laurels (ha!) just yet. The Anisimov PP came on the Hawks’ fourth powerplay of the night. They didn’t even get any shots on goal on the first three. Whatever the Blackhawks are doing to fix the powerplay, it’s not showing up yet.
The same cant be said for the penalty kill. It was red hot again tonight, killing all three Flyers powerplays, this after allowing three PP tallies in their last two games. Two of the penalty kills were Toews minors, so that’s even better news. If I have one critique though, is that the PK tonight was not as aggressive as the previous ones, which did lead to the Flyers getting a lot of their chances up high.
Cody on the spot
Cody Franson had a really good game tonight. He hasn’t really had any opportunities lately, despite being one of the prized acquisitions in the free agent market this past offseason. He and Duncan Keith played really well, despite both being offensive defensemen. Hopefully, he draws in to more games this season.
The Blackhawks are off until this Saturday, when they play the Minnesota Wild in the first of back to back games. The Wild took the first meeting of the year, winning 5-2 in a close game that admittedly went off the rails for the Blackhawks after losing an offside challenge. The Blackhawks are currently 1-4-0 against teams from the Central, so a win here would be a big boost to the Hawks’ prospects in the division.
Gustav Forsling is out with an upper body injury. Marian Hossa, Michal Roszival and Jordin Tootoo remain on LTIR.
My Three Stars:
3. Jonathan Toews 1G
2. Artem Anisimov 1G
1. Corey Crawford 35 save shutout