13 Hawks earn points in dominant victory over Flyers

Philadelphia came to Chicago tonight looking for a game against one of the league’s top teams to use as a measuring stick for their own success.  After an embarrassing 7-2 thumping by the Hawks, they may want to reconsider that statement.  13 Blackhawk players would finish the game with at least a point, and Antti Raanta finished with a .933 SV%, proving yet again that he is a very capable goaltender.  Ray Emery, who started against his former team, would allow six goals on 18 shots.

The game got off to a rough start right away, when Sheldon Brookbank and Wayne Simmonds dropped the glove after Simmonds delivered a clean but brutal hit on Duncan Keith.  The fight was fairly evenly matched, but set a physical tone for the game, which would end with the Hawks being outhit 35-8.


The Flyers, finishing up a 6 game road trip, looked to capitalize on a tired Hawks team playing the second game in two nights.  After recent PK success, killing off the last10 penalties over a two game span, the Hawks let in an early PP goal after Marcus Kruger was sent to the box for holding the stick.  The Flyers struck at 12:31 when Jakub Voracek wristed a clean shot behind Raanta.  


Chicago came into the second period on a power play, as  Kimmo Timonen was in the box for holding, and they took advantage of it on a blast by Keith that blew by a screened Emery.


The Hawks, who have made a bit of a habit this year of scoring multiple goals in a short period of time, would strike again just 39 seconds later.  After a glorious keep in by Ben Smith, the puck was worked down behind the net to Andrew Shaw, who was able to to wrap around the goal to shoot the puck behind Emery to put the Hawks ahead 2-1.


Just over four minutes later, the Hawks would strike again, this time on the penalty kill, as Michael Handzus and Kruger managed to get a two-on-one, passing the puck between the two until Handzus could put it behind Emery for a 3-1 lead.  The puck hit Handzus’ skate on the way to the net, and after a review in Toronto, the call on the ice stood and play continued.


Despite the shorthanded goal, the Flyers would pull back to within one on the continuing power play, as Downie tipped in a shot from Brayden Schenn.


From there, it was all downhill for the Flyers, as the Hawks would score the next four goals of the game unanswered.  Kris Versteeg would get a goal right in front of Emery after a beautiful behind the net pass from Brandon Saad to make it 4-2 at 9:44 of the second, and Jonathan Toews would get a redirect at 14:15 from a blast by Patrick Sharp to make it 5-2 going into the second intermission. 


The Hawks would continue to light up Emery early in the third, off of a blast from Brent Seabrook that hit Steve Downie in front of the net and squirted behind Emery for the Hawk’s sixth goal of the night, prompting coach Craig Berube to pull Emery in favor of Steve Mason with just over 19 to go in the third.  He would not fare much better, as Patrick Sharp scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 9:33 of the third to give the Hawks their seventh and final goal.


During a Hawks power play in the third, the Flyers had two shorthanded breakaway opportunities by Schenn and Michael Raffl, both of which were stopped spectalulary but Raanta, and were the best saves of the night by either netminder.  


Three Stars:

1. Patrick Sharp: 1 G, 2 A, 4 SOG, 16:30 TOI

2. Michal Handzus: 1 G, 1 A, + 2, 16:04 TOI

3. Marian Hossa: 0 G, 3 A, +2, 15:14 TOI


Quick Hits:

- The Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, United Center Joint Venture and United Airlines announced that the naming rights for the United Center would be ensured for the next 20 years.  The United Center will continue to host Bulls and Blackhawks games, among other events.


- Coach Joel Quenneville is just one win away from tying Pat Quinn for fourth all-time winningest NHL coach.  Quenneville has won 683 NHL games as a head coach, and has an overall record of 683-395-167.


- The Hawks had three players tonight who were formerly on the Flyers- Handzus, Sharp, and Versteeg.  All three players scored goals tonight against their former team.


-Hawks prospect Vince Hinostroza was named as an addition to the preliminary United States World Juniors Championship roster yesterday, and will fight to compete for the US in the WJC in Malmo, Sweden, set to begin play on December 26th. Hinostroza, who sustained an injury that kept him out for six games and jeapordized his chances of playing for the national team, found out on Monday that he would be added to the roster.


The Hawks next face off against the Maple Leafs as they travel to Toronto on Saturday.  The game begins at 6 p.m. CT.


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