The Flyers matinee against Chicago started with more pre-game news than anyone would expect for a Saturday afternoon inter-conference game in early December. First, the Flyers announced Radko Gudas would miss the game with an illness and that Brandon Manning, who had missed the last few games with an injury, would be playing in Gudas’s spot. Then Chicago announced that goaltender Corey Crawford would miss the game as he was having surgery to remove his appendix. Scott Darling would start in his place and Temple University graduate Eric Semborski would slot in as Chicago’s backup for the game.
Semborski’s appearance was such a rush, that he wore Crawford’s number 50 with a “Semborski” name plate stitched over Crawford’s on a Crawford sweater.
The game started as many have for the Flyers this season. A defensive zone breakdown allowed Artemi Panarin to score and give the Hawks an early lead. However, the Flyers did control the possession battle out-shooting Chicago 16-6 in the opening period. And despite a powerplay after Chicago was caught with a penalty for too many men, the Flyers finished the first frame down 1-0.
However, to make up for his defensive breakdown, Ivan Provorov would answer back twice early in the second frame, scoring his first goal on a feed from Nick Cousins after Chris VandeVelde dislodged the puck from a Chicago defender. Just 31 seconds later, Provorov would repeat his performance, this time scoring on a pass from Michael Raffl. Five minutes after the Provorov goal show ended, Brayden Schenn would score his fourth goal of the season on a feed from Michael Raffl.
There were some tense moments late in the period, when a goalmouth scrum and jam potentially saw Chicago jam the puck past Steve Mason. However, after a long video review, no conclusive evidence could be found that a goal was scored. Ivan Provorov’s glove expertly blocked the cameras preventing any view of the puck in the net behind Mason. With that, the Flyers were able to take a two goal lead into the third period.
Ivan Provorov didn’t get the hatty. However the Flyers did hold off the Hawks late and held on to win 3-1.