Photo Credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
On a night where the Flyers welcomed back their beloved former defenseman Kimmo Timonen, they easily took down his new team with a final score of 4-1. Wayne Simmonds, Ryan White, Claude Giroux, and Michael Raffl scored for the home team, and Andrew Shaw had the lone goal for Chicago.
Steve Mason was his usual solid self, stopping 34 of 35 shots faced. Corey Crawford was also solid, but was unable to stop the Flyers from scoring their four goals on 33 shots.
As per usual, the Flyers came out strong for the opening period, playing up to the much more talented Blackhawks. Between the forechecking and the defensive play in their own end, they looked like a solid squad. Simmonds’ goal, his 28th of the season and 100th of his Flyers career, came at about seven and a half minutes after sloppy play and turnovers from the Blackhawks.
During a tv timeout in the first, a video tribute for Kimmo Timonen was shown, earning stick-taps from both benches and a long standing ovation from the fans. Lots of onions were sliced and lots of eyes were sweaty.
Throughout the rest of the period, the Flyers were able to keep up with Chicago, and there were big saves from the goaltenders on both ends of the ice – namely several from Crawford. The first 20 minutes came to a close with the Flyers leading 1-0, and leading in shots 13-11.
The Blackhawks came out with more life in the first ten minutes of the second period, but waned in the latter half, looking out of sorts at times. White’s deflection of a Colaiacovo shot gave the Flyers the 2-0 lead at 7:09, and the Flyers scored again at 13:58 with Giroux’s goal, his first of the season at even strength. (To put that into perspective, he hadn’t scored an even-strength goal since March 28, 2014.
Philadelphia led 3-0 after two periods, with Chicago leading in shots 25-22 (14-9 in the second).
After no penalties were called in the first and second periods, they came in spades in the third. Just over two minutes into the third period, Colaiacovo was sent to the box for high-sticking Flyers fans favorite Dan Carcillo. Shortly thereafter, Shaw’s tip-in of a Duncan Keith shot put the Blackhawks on the board for the first time all night.
Never one to stay quiet for very long, Carcillo got into a scrap with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and both men got five minute fighting majors.
Michael Del Zotto got called for slashing six minutes in, but the Flyers’ penalty kill was strong and held off the Blackhawks, preventing a second Chicago goal.
Chicago got called for the most silly of penalties, too many men, but the Flyers were unable to capitalize on the man advantage and the score remained at 3-1. They were able to capitalize on the next Blackhawks penalty – a hooking call on captain Jonathan Toews – with Raffl’s goal making it a 4-1 game.
When all was said and done, Shaw’s goal was the lone tally for Chicago, and the Flyers had defeated yet another playoff-bound team.
Notes: This was Kimmo Timonen’s first game back in Philadelphia since April 29, 2014. He played 519 games in the orange & black… Ten Flyers recorded points tonight on the four goals scored… The Flyers have now recorded 11 consecutive regular-season wins at home against the Chicago Blackhawks… Four former Flyers dressed for the Blackhawks tonight: Kimmo Timonen, Kris Versteeg, Dan Carcillo, and Patrick Sharp. Ray Emery is a former Blackhawk – after he was a former Flyer, before he was a current Flyer… There are seven games left for the Flyers this season, five at home. They’ll face the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at 1pm.