Hawks shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0

The Blackhawks came into this game on a mission to get second scoring chances and to crash the net and they most certainly did.  

Chicago beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 on Tuesday in what might have been the most complete game the Hawks played this season. It was a solid team victory.

The Hawks also went with different lines than they had in the past and again Joel Quenneville demonstrated his knack of having his pulse on this team and knowing how to get the best from his players and utilizing their strenghths to spark his team. 

The game also saw the return of Kris Versteeg to the line-up. Versteeg however was not on the third line but was opposite his old buddy Patrick Kane on the second line with Andrew Shaw in the middle.

The third line, which has not produced offensively the way the coach wanted, added some strong spice in the flavor of Brandon Saad, and did it add zest to that line. Both Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell scored on that line off of the rush and clean zone entries and spectacular passing.

The Hawks also manage to score on the power play when Patrick Sharp used the back of the rink like a pool table and bounced the puck perfectly off of it right to Patrick Kane on the far corner of the net to poke in past Flyers’ goalie Steve Mason. The first period ended with the Hawks up 3-0.

Because of an upper body injury to Corey Crawford, Antti Raanta saw his first appearance for the Hawks in net. Despite having not played he was spectacular and got a shutout stopping all 32 shots directed to his net. He was sharp particularly in the middle period where he stopped the Flyers most lethal scorer and captain Claude Giroux not once, twice but three times where Giroux had top quality chances but Raanta kept that period scoreless.

The third period saw a repeat Patrick Kane power play goal from the same spot from the far goal post due to net front presence. Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp go the assists to put the Hawks up 4-0.

Late in the third on a Flyers power play Raanta was spectacular stopping the Flyers with some help from Brent Seabrook who swept the puck out of the blue paint that would have crossed the goal line. Quick stick work by the defenseman kept the Flyers off the scoreboard.

What was obvious in this game is the Flyers need to work on their defense and they just don’t have the team speed that the Hawks do. To show how thoroughly the Blackhawks were dominating play the game ended with the shots on goal 43-32.

The Hawks also managed to jump start the power play going two for four. All year long the power play will probably have its ups and downs. The flip side of the special teams the penalty kill is rock solid shutting out the Flyers powerplay zero for two.

The Hawks are now getting into that part of their schedule where they will play more regularly. They play next on Thursday against the Predators in Nashville. Alright Blackhawks fans the Predators have a “keep the Red out” campaign going where if you turn in anything Blackhawks you will get tickets to another Predators game. Good Luck with that Predators, somehow it is doubtful that it will deter the Hawks faithful.

Three Stars of the game:

1.   A. Raanta  

2.   P. Kane  

3.   B. Saad

Next game Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. CDT  vs the Nashville Predators. Tune in to CSN Chicago; or listen via radio on WGN AM720.

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