Blackhawks blank Flyers, halt three-game slid
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[November 02, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks
goaltender Corey Crawford knew he had to act fast.
Philadelphia Flyers center Valtteri Filppula darted behind Chicago's
net to attempt a wraparound goal. Crawford anticipated the move and
stretched his left leg as far as he could along the goal line for
"I kind of lost it for a second there," Crawford said. "I was just
trying to recover as quick as possible."
The dazzling stop was one of several made by Crawford, who made 35
saves to earn his first shutout of the season and the 22nd shutout
of his career. Chicago pulled away for a 3-0 win over Philadelphia
on Wednesday night at the United Center.
Artem Anisimov, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat each scored for
the Blackhawks. Chicago (6-5-2) snapped a three-game losing streak
and improved to 4-2-1 on home ice.
"We needed a big effort," Crawford said. "We've been playing pretty
good hockey, just haven't gotten some wins. That was a good one to
get a big win at home and get back on track."
Philadelphia (6-6-1) was blanked for the third time this season. The
Flyers are 1-3-1 since Oct. 24.
The Flyers peppered Crawford with eight shots in the first period,
12 in the second and 15 in the third. They lamented a slew of missed
opportunities on quality scoring chances.
"We just couldn't buy one, and Crawford made a few big stops,"
Flyers right winger Jakub Voracek said. "It wasn't only the
wraparound. It was a couple huge stops on me. I had a breakaway,
(Claude Giroux) had a breakaway. We had a lot of shots on the power
play. He was really solid today."
Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott turned aside 32 shots to keep his
team within striking distance. But he allowed Chicago to break a
scoreless tie midway through the second period with two goals in 20
Anisimov started the scoring binge with a power-play goal. He won a
faceoff in the offensive zone and skated toward the front of the
crease, where he punched in a rebound for his fourth goal.
"(I wanted to) go there and take away the goalie's eyes, and
something's going to happen," Anisimov said.
Toews quickly increased Chicago's lead to 2-0 when he scored on a
breakaway with 10:42 to go in the second period. Flyers defenseman
Robert Hagg whiffed on a shot attempt from near the blue line, and
Toews seized the puck and sprinted down the ice before beating
Elliott with a backhand shot.
As he sized up the goaltender, Toews remembered a failed breakaway
attempt from earlier in the season.
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Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save on Philadelphia
Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) during the first period at United
Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
"I had one a few games ago, and I just played it safe," said Toews,
who has four goals this season. "This time, I just figured try to
come in with speed and make a move and try to get him to bite.
"I think our line with (Richard Panik and DeBrincat) tonight
generated quite a bit. A couple pucks didn't go for us, but as a
line, I don't think it matters who scores. I think we all get some
confidence when we see one go in like that."
Hagg was asked whether the condition of the ice surface led to his
"I don't know," Hagg said. "Maybe a little bit, but I think it's no
different than any other game we've played so far. The ice is kind
of (bad) everywhere we play, so it is what it is. You have to just
battle through it."
DeBrincat added an empty-net goal with 1:49 remaining in the third
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol focused on the positives despite the
"I thought we had a really good effort from everybody in the
lineup," Hakstol said. "I really can't find one guy that was below
the bar in terms of effort tonight."
NOTES: Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere missed his second straight game
because of an upper-body injury. ... Blackhawks D Gustav Forsling
missed a game for the first time this season because of an
upper-body injury. Fellow D Cody Franson played alongside D Duncan
Keith in Forsling's absence. ... Flyers C Nolan Patrick (upper body)
and D Andrew MacDonald (lower body) did not travel with the team to
Chicago. ... Blackhawks D Connor Murphy played in front of his
father, longtime blue-liner Gord Murphy, who is an assistant coach
with the Flyers. ... Flyers RW Wayne Simmonds played his 700th game.
... Before the game, fans observed a moment of silence for the
victims of Tuesday's terrorist attack in New York. ... Flyers D
Radko Gudas sustained an upper-body injury in the first period and
did not return.
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