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POSTGAME 5: Win-dy City

Flyers sweep season series with 4-1 win over Blackhawks in Chicago

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

The Flyers completed a season-series sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-1 victory at the United Center on Thursday night. Philadelphia dominated for most of the opening 40 minutes and then were opportunistic in a wide-open third period.

Oskar Lindblom sent the Flyers to the first intermission leading 1-0. Claude Giroux doubled the advantage early in the middle frame. Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk tallied in the third period.

Brian Elliott was outstanding when he had to be in stopping 23 of 24 shots, including 15 of 16 in the third period. Brandon Saad netted the lone Chicago goal while Robin Lehner took the loss, stopping 19 of 23.

Three Stars:
1st: Claude Giroux (1g,+2)
2nd: Kevin Hayes (1g,+1)
3rd: Brian Elliott (23 saves on 24 shots)

After the Flyers had a would-be goal overturned on replay, the Blackhawks had a 2-on-1 with Patrick Kane carrying the puck; a potentially nightmarish situation for the Flyers but they survived it. Shortly thereafter, at 13:05, Lindblom finished off a nicely executed 2-on-1 with Konecny. The sequence started with Lindblom forcing a Chicago turnover near the Flyers' defensive blue line and Konecny pouncing on the counterattack. 


* Joel Farabee made a perfect pass to Kevin Hayes for a would-be Flyers goal at 6:09 but the play was blatantly offside. There was little suspense to the ensuing coach's challenge. The on-ice call of a good goal was quickly reversed... The luckless Farabee scored a beautiful goal, taking the puck to the net and potting his own rebound at 7:06. Unfortunately, this one also got overturned on a coach's challenge for an offside. Although not nearly as clear cut as the first, it was again an accurate call as Hayes couldn't quite tag up at the blue line. 

* Elliott was tested twice in the early going of the game on dangerous chances for Chicago's Dominik Kubalik and Andrew Shaw. Later in the period, Kubalik created the game's first power play as Ivan Provorov hauled him down. In the final minute of the period, Elliott erased a grade-A chance for the dangerous Alex DeBrincat. In between, the Flyers carried the play.

* The line of James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek was buzzing in the first period. They got rewarded finally in the opening minute of the second period. Giroux deflected home a feed from Sanheim off his skate/stick. There was a bit of a kicking motion by the Flyers captain but he got his stick on it to make it a legal goal.Video: PHI@CHI: van Riemsdyk beats Lehner with nifty move

* The Giroux power-play unit, with the captain notably moving back to the left half boards, generated a lot of puck possession but no shots on goal. The Couturier line got out with only a few seconds left in the man advantage. Other than the 2-on-1, the Flyers dominated the middle frame, to the tune of a 13-1 shot edge.

* As dominant as the Flyers were in the second period, they were back on their heels for the first 4:30 of a very loosely played third period. Just one minute into the period, Saad soloed to beat Elliott after the Flyers lost a battle in the neutral zone.


* The Flyers swept the season series against the Blackhawks for the second straight season and extended their winning streak to five in-a-row... They have outscored Chicago 14-3 in that span.

* All scoring was done at 5-on-5. The Flyers ended a streak of having allowed opposing power play goals in three straight games, going 4-for-4 on this night, but were 0-for-2 on their own power plays.

* Konecny's assist on Lindblom's goal gives him points in seven of the first eight games of the season... Oskar Lindblom scored his fifth goal of the season, which now leads the team.Video: PHI@CHI: Lindblom opens scoring on two-on-one rush

* James van Riemsdyk led the Flyers with two points in the game with a goal and an assist... Joel Farabee earned his first NHL point with an assist on Kevin Hayes' third-period goal... Claude Giroux was 80% on faceoffs (12-of-15), while Sean Couturier was 77% (10-of-13).

* Both Matt Niskanen and Ivan Provorov were both a +3 in tonight's game - they were also the only two players who logged more than 20 minutes of ice time.


Video: Hear from Hayes, Giroux and Farabee following winVideo: Hear from Flyers coach following win over CHI

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