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POSTGAME 5: Moooooooose

Elliott dominant in Flyers first shutout of season in 4-0 win over Blackhawks

by Flyers & Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Brian Elliott kept the Flyers in this one early and kept pace throughout the game to post the team's first shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Claude Giroux kicked off the scoring in the first period and followed that up by assisting on Sean Couturier's goals in the second and third period before Nolan Patrick iced it with an empty-netter.

Elliott stopped all 33 shots he faced and held off four Chicago power plays, while Corey Crawford made 21 saves in the loss. 

Stars of the Game: 
1 - Sean Couturier (2g-1a)
2 - Claude Giroux (1g-2a)
3 - Brian Elliott (33 save shutout)

TURNING POINT
Today's turning point came in the second period when the Flyers killed off a key Chicago power play that would've have knotted the score at 1-1. Instead the Flyers not only finished the kill off strong, but shortly afterwards, scored to give them a 2-0 lead, which proved to be enough in the end.Video: CHI@PHI: Couturier battles for breakaway tally

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) The Blackhawks had the better of the play over the majority of the first 14 minutes of the first period but the Flyers came on -- and scored the stanza's lone goal -- over five of the final six minutes... In net, Brian Elliott was very sharp in the opening 20 minutes... Early in the first period, Robert Hägg made a textbook play behind the net in Nick Schmaltz, knocking him off the puck and shielding him off from being able to get back and get it ... Several minutes later, Travis Sanheim joined the rush and then make a good pass to beat a defender. The rush fizzled out a moment later but there was a good initial sequence within it.Video: CHI@PHI: Elliott makes multiple saves in tight

2) The second period started out as wide open hockey but the Flyers were the better team as the period progressed. Philly deservedly took a 2-0 lead to the second intermission... Early in the period, Corey Crawford made a 10-bell save on Wayne Simmonds on a point-blank rebound followup. At other end, a Chicago rush started out 4-on-2 but Flyers got back. Good defense by Christian Folin on that sequence short-circuited any threat... On his next shift, Folin broke up a Chicago 3-on-2 with a good defensive stick, then Flyers had numbers on the counterattack. 

3) The Flyers top power play unit generated outstanding pressure and puck movement on their second opportunity of the game. They did not score, however. The best save was a robbery of Nolan Patrick by Crawford from the doorstep.

4) Chicago's struggling power play didn't generate much against the Flyers' struggling PK on the Blackhawks' first power play of the game. Scott Laughton and then Claude Giroux both got behind the Chicago D and different junctures... The Flyers killed off an early third period penalty in good shape. Elliott made a tough stop on a strong move by Patrick Kane across in front. After the penalty expired, Elliott made back-to-back clutch saves to erase a turnover out of the corner by Radko Gudas.

5) Couturier had a hat trick bid on a 2-on-1 rush created by Giroux. He couldn't bag his third goal but Philly went to the power play with 4:55 left. The power play was canceled out with 4:02 left in the period on a hooking penalty on Patrick as he attempted to forecheck... By the time Patrick bagged an empty-net goal assisted by Couturier, the only suspense left was whether Elliott would get the shutout. He did. 

JUST THE STATS

* The Flyers extended their home winning streak over the Blackhawks to 15 straight wins in the regular season, which dates back to the 1996 season.

* The Flyers scored the first goal for the sixth straight game and ran their record to 5-1-1 when scoring first.

* Claude Giroux recorded this third straight multi-point game and now has eight points (3g-5a) in his last three games... He also has multi-point games in four of his last six contests.

* Also with his three-point night, Giroux moved past Rick MacLeish for 4th all-time in Flyers history with his 699th point... Brian Propp ranks third with 849 points.

* Sean Couturier had three points to extended his point streak to three game with six points (3g-3a) in that span... Oskar Lindblom saw his five-game point streak end... The Flyers are now 2-1-0 wearing their black "third jerseys".

THEY SAID ITVideo: Elliott, Couturier & Giroux following win over CHIVideo: Hear from Hakstol following win over CHI

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