Postgame 5: Flyers Defeat Chicago, goals

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 at United Center on Wednesday evening.
By: Bill Meltzer

February 22, 2024.

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 at United Center on Wednesday evening. The Flyers gained control of the game in the second period and then finished it off in the last 20 minutes.

The win gave the Flyers their 30th victory of the season (30-20-7). The Blackhawks fell to 15-39-5 overall.

In the opening period, Philadelphia controlled the most of the territorial play, but they risked allowing many quick counterattacks via the neutral zone. Despite the Flyers’ lead in shots and scoring chances, the clubs swapped one goal each.

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The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at 5:18 in the first period. On a partial line change, Joel Farabee won a puck battle. The ball deflected off a defender and bounced back to Scott Laughton, who delivered it to Travis Sanheim (6th goal of the season). The puck was on its way out of the net, but it deflected off Alex Vlasic and into the net, past Arvid Söderblom. Laughton and Farabee both received assists.

Chicago scored again 1:17 later, at 7:35, on a transition rush. Sean Couturier and Cam York ran into each other near the offensive blue line. Joey Anderson connected with Colin Blackwell via a stretch pass. Blackwell scored his fourth goal of the season, beating Samuel Ersson over the glove. Anderson got the lone assist.

In terms of 200-foot attention to detail, the Flyers outperformed themselves in the second session. They continued to dominate the territorial play and were rewarded with two goals.

At 3:15 of the second period, Travis Konecny (27th of the season) pushed the puck down the ice in transition before firing a beautiful shot from the left circle inside the far post. The goal was scored without any assistance.

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Noah Cates hit Söderblom with a high slot shot. At 11:55, Garnet Hathaway (6th goal of the season) scored on a rebound from close range to make it 3-1. Cates and Ryan Poehling both had assists.

The Flyers didn’t score much in the third period, and they didn’t give up much until the final five minutes, but they finished the game competently. At one point, there were five and a half minutes of whistle-free hockey with no high-quality goal opportunities granted.

Ersson saved 22 of 23 shots to secure the win. Countryman Söderblom made 30 stops on 33 shots in a losing effort.

The Flyers did not have any power play opportunities in this game. Philadelphia was 2 for 2 in penalty kills.

After the game was tied at the start of the second period, the Flyers improved their collective performance throughout the most of the stanza. The Konecny goal put the Flyers up, but don’t miss Ersson’s saves on the penalty kill with too many men on the ice. Chicago might easily have knotted the game and shifted the momentum.

Postgame 5

1) The Flyers won the first faceoff. At the 46-second mark of the first period, Farabee took the game’s opening shot above the dot in the left circle, assisted by Frost. Ersson stopped Jaycob Megna’s point shot amid traffic at 2:21. Through four minutes in the first period, Philadelphia had four of the first five shots on goal.

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At 4:59, Ersson moved laterally to rob Taylor Raddysh with the glove during a 2-on-1 rush with Tyler Johnson. Johnson’s pass was right on the tape, and Ersson made an excellent reaction stop.

At 5:18, Sanheim scored a friendly bounce goal, giving Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. Shortly after that, the Flyers allowed odd-man rushes on consecutive shifts. Blackwell scored at 7:35. Johnson was caught on a breakaway at 8:03.

Zamula tripped Bedard. At 9:02, we’re in the Flyers’ defensive zone. The Flyers finished it off without conceding a shot on goal. Poehling and Seeler blocked attempted shots.

2) The Flyers outshot their opponents 16-7 in the first period. The Flyers had 38 shots to 15 attempts. The Flyers had 13 scoring opportunities to 8. Flyers scored 6-3 on high-danger scoring chances. The Chicago faceoff score was 11-10.

3) For the second consecutive period, the Flyers won the opening faceoff and played the first shift in Chicago’s end zone. At 2:00, Poehling was denied a wraparound.

Right before Konecny scored at 3:15, the Blackhawks had a 2-on-1 opportunity. Sanheim broke it up. At 5:40, Seth Jones took Chicago’s first shot of the period.

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At 7:05, the Flyers had too many men on the ice. Ersson stopped a Phillip Kurashev one-timer from the right circle 51 seconds into the power play. Shortly later, he denied Johnson from his doorstep.

Blackwell made a goal-saving shot block on Couturier near the halfway point of the game. The Blackhawks benefited from a controversial icing call at 10:59. Fararee seems to have beaten it out.

Hathaway’s rebound goal at 11:55 gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead. At 13:36, Philadelphia iced the puck. Chicago won the subsequent faceoff and applied pressure in the Flyers’ zone. Ersson stopped shots from Jones and Kurashev.

After a center pass to Frost in the low slot, Söderblom scrambled back just in time to stop Frost from 15 feet at 17:13. Frost would like to get that scoring chance back, though it wasn’t an easy turn-and-shoot play to make. It allowed Söderblom just enough time to return to his crease.

4) The Flyers outshot their opponents 14-8 in the second period (30-15 total). Shot attempts were 23-16 Flyers (61-31 overall). The Flyers had 14-8 scoring chances (28-16 overall). High-danger scoring opportunities were 6-2 Flyers (12-5 overall, four for Frost, according to Natural Stat Trick). Faceoffs were 11-8 Flyers (21-18 overall, with Couturier leading the way at 6-for-9).

5) The Flyers won the first shift of the third period, just as they had in the first two. Ten seconds into the game, after stealing the puck from the goalie behind the Chicago net, Frost sent a centering pass to Konecny in the low slot. Söderblom made the stop on the short-side shot. At the 28-second mark, Farabee was tripped in neutral territory. There was no call.

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At 2:51, Seeler dropped his gloves and battled Reese Johnson. Seeler landed a few early shots. At 4:29, Farabee received a high-stick to the face from Isaac Phillips (no call). An after-the-whistle scrum erupted, but things settled down before any penalties were called.

The third period saw 8-3 Chicago shots on goal (33-23 Flyers overall). Shot attempts were 19-6 Blackhawks (66-43 Flyers overall). The scoring chances were 10-2 Blackhawks by Natural Stat Trick (30-23 Flyers overall). Chicago led 6-1 in high-danger scoring chances, while Philadelphia had only one. Konecny’s chance came in the first 10 seconds (13-9 Flyers overall). Faceoffs were 7-4 for Chicago (25-25 total). The Flyers blocked 26 shots, with Walker blocking half a dozen and Seeler save four.

With 8:10 left in regulation, Hathaway blocked a shot during a five-and-a-half minute whistle-free stretch. At 13:01, Poehling grabbed the puck from a defender near the Chicago blue line. Kurashev of Chicago got an excellent scoring chance from the right circle at 14:22.

With 1:51 remaining in regulation, Chicago pulled Söderblomg for a 6-on-5. Following a blocked shot by Koneny, Laughton attempted an empty-net goal but hit the post.

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