In the final game of their seven-game homestand, the Blackhawks were defeated by the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night at the United Center.
James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist while Kevin Hayes, Oskar Lindblom and Claude Giroux also scored for the Flyers.
Brian Elliott (23 saves) got the win in goal for the Flyers, only allowing Brandon Saad's third-period goal. The Flyers, who also had two goals disallowed after video reviews, out-shot the Blackhawks 13-1 in the second period. Robin Lehner made his second consecutive start in goal for the Blackhawks and suffered the loss.
"I don't think anyone's pleased with that performance, particularly the second period," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I thought we were cheating defensively and with the puck, especially. We had a little adversity and (I) didn't love the way we reacted. And so that's disappointing because I feel like when we play with the compete level and work ethic that we've shown for the most part lately, we can find our way back into games.
"I thought we just wasted the whole second period and we did have a very strong push in the third period, and if anything it just proves the point of how bad we were earlier," Colliton added. "Because as soon as we turned on the work ethic and we started playing a simpler game and we shortened up the shifts a little bit, then we were very effective."
The Blackhawks finished the homestand with a 2-3-2 record and dropped to 2-4-2 overall.
The Blackhawks had hoped to pile up some points during their seven-game homestand but ended up with six of a possible 14 after dropping the last three contests.
"It's definitely tough, you want to take care of your home games, that's the bottom line," Saad said. "Playing at home, we've got to be sharper. Playing in front of this crowd, usually that's where you take advantage and capitalize in our games. Unfortunately, it didn't go that way for us but we snuck a couple points out and we just have to learn and build from this."
During the stretch, the Blackhawks defeated the Oilers and Blue Jackets but fell to the Sharks, Jets, Capitals, Golden Knights and Flyers. The games during which the Blackhawks seemingly out-played their opponents but ended up on the losing side were to the Capitals and Golden Knights on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.
"I think we deserved better," defenseman Calvin de Haan said of the homestand. "There were a few games in there where we might have been the better team. There are tons of games left, you can't just look at this homestand and break it down, but you obviously want to be above .500."
Most disappointing was Thursday's effort following strong games against NHL powerhouses the Capitals and Knights.
"The results aren't good enough, no question," Colliton said. "I didn't love the Columbus game, which we won by the way. Up until (Thursday night) I thought we'd been improving. I want our team to understand what we need to do to have success. The quicker we learn it, it becomes part of our DNA then this team is good enough (and) we'll make the playoffs. We'll be a hard team to play against. The longer it takes, the longer we don't want it to be part of our identity and we put ourselves in a bad spot. This group has been there before. So we've got to learn. It's ultimately like how bad do you want to win?"
The power play continues to be an issue for the Blackhawks. Against the Flyers, the Blackhawks went 0-for-4 with a man advantage and managed only one shot on goal. The Blackhawks are now 3-for-26 (11.6 percent) on the power play after converting at a 20.2 percent clip last season.
"Execution is letting us down," Colliton said. "I think we could shoot the puck more. We got that 30 seconds at the beginning of the third (and) we shot a couple pucks. That was the most dangerous we looked all night. Shoot the puck, recover it and then things open up. When you try to pass it into a chance or pass into the net it's more difficult. I think that's the case right now."
Sloppiness with the puck proved costly against the Flyers. Time and again, the Flyers broke into the Blackhawks zone with odd-man rushes following turnovers and Lehner (19 saves) couldn't withstand the onslaught.
"When we don't manage the puck, teams get momentum going the other way," Saad said. "(We) gave up way too many chances, odd-man rushes (and) breakaways. We got lucky with a couple offsides calls, but when we don't come up together, play with speed, keep it simple, they create turnovers and that kills our offense."
The Blackhawks had 12 giveaways and the Flyers made them pay.
"It's just about managing the puck; honestly, it's just all it is," Lehner said. "It's not that complicated: You manage the puck, they don't get all the breakaways and two-on-ones (Thursday night) and it might have been different. Who knows? Again, in spurts we're dominating but we don't manage the puck."
Colliton said the Blackhawks can cut down on the turnovers and allowing odd-man breaks if they display the work ethic needed for 60 minutes.
"The focus still remains the work ethic and the commitment to the defensive side of the puck and then how we manage the puck when we have it and then not turning it over in situations that expose us defensively," Colliton said. "And when we do that, we're really effective and we can win, we're a good enough team. To win, you need some skill (and) we have enough skill. We need to focus on how hard we work, both sides of the puck but particularly defensively, and then how we manage it. When we turn it over, we expose ourselves badly and we were punished badly."