Blackhawks Defeat Flyers In Bruising Game Two
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 1, 2010 3:00AM
With the Blackhawks up 1-0 in the series and battle lines drawn, Game Two promised to be a more focused, hard-hitting affair and that's exactly what we got. Both teams played tighter and hit harder but in the end the Blackhawks won 2-1, getting the best of the Flyers in another thrilling game, taking a 2-0 series lead.
The first period was full of jarring, bruising hits, highlighted by Tomas Kopecky and the Flyers' Dennis Carcillo exchanging pleasantries on more than one occasion, but no goals. Not that the Blackhawks didn't have their chances; after no power plays in Game One, the Blackhawks had a few in the final chunk of the period, getting off a flurry of shots but none found the net. Both teams looked more comfortable on the ice, making fewer mistakes on defense and taking advantage of better goal-tending. The same held true for most of the second period - still plenty of hits and a few scuffles - but with 2:51 left, after some quick pass-the-puck, Marian Hossa put one past Flyers goalie Michael Leighton to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. But never ones to rest, the Blackhawks scored again quickly as Ben Eager scored just 28 seconds after Hossa to give Chicago a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. The second period also saw an increase in shots on goals; the teams combined for 12 shots in the first period but combined for 28 in the second period. The Flyers got on the board 5:20 in to the third period, using a power play goal to cut the lead to 2-1. And despite the Flyers out-shooting the Blackhawks 15-4 in the third period, the Blackhawks defense held Philly scoreless to secure the win.
Antti Niemi was fantastic in goal, returning to his playoff form after Saturday's sloppier performance. He stopped 32 of 33 shots, allowing just the single third period goal to the Flyers and looking especially sharp in the hectic final 90 seconds when the Flyers took the one-man advantage with the empty net. Overall, the Blackhawks were out-shot by the Flyers 30-26. With the Blackhawks holding the 2-0 lead, the series now shifts to Philadelphia where the puck drops on Game Three on Wednesday night (7:00 p.m., TV: Versus, Radio: WGN 720 AM).