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Stanley Cup Final, Game 2: Make the fixes, enjoy the result

Stanley Cup Final, Game 2
Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks lead series 1-0
United Center - 8:00 PM ET - Chicago, IL
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream here), XM 204, SIRIUS 208
Get the Chicago perspective at Second City Hockey

Okay, so Game 1 didn't go according to plan. It was a missed opportunity for the Flyers, who shut down the Blackhawks top line, scored five goals, and still lost the hockey game. Even though Chicago wound up with the victory, even they are lucky with the result, and because of this, both teams will be ready to slow the tempo a bit in Game 2 tonight at United Center.

So how can the Flyers build upon the positives of Game 1 to pull out a necessary road victory in Game 2?

To start, the defense clearly needs to tighten up. Many of Chicago's goals were the result of the Flyers allowing a player to sneak down behind the defense uncovered with a wide open look at Michael Leighton's net. That's solved with simple defensive coverage fixes, though, and you've got to expect the Flyers to be better in that department tonight.

If you think about it, almost every one of the Blackhawks chances in the first and second period wound up in the back of the net. The positive, of course, is that Chicago really didn't create much offense, despite the six spot on the scoreboard. Philly really controlled things on the offensive side of the puck for the first two periods of the game, and if that continues with those defensive fixes taking place, we're going to like the results.

Of course, all of those things just mentioned were about the first two periods, as the third period was completely different. It could've been that the Blackhawks wore down the Flyers in the third period, because they totally controlled things for about the first 12 minutes of the period. But the way the Flyers came on in the last several minutes, generating offense and getting their share of chances again, leads me to believe they weren't that tired after all.

Either way, there should be some help in the lineup tonight in the form of an extra body. Ryan Parent essentially isn't on, the team at this point, and it would be shocking if he was on the bench tonight. Likely replacing him will be Dan Carcillo, who will suit up as an extra forward while the Flyers go with five defensemen. It's a welcome addition to the lineup and Carbomb's presence will certainly be felt, but it brings up another problem. (UPDATE: Carcillo is in for JVR, Parent is out for Bartulis.)

So much has been made over the last day or so about how the Blackhawks didn't get one single power play in Game 1. That will change in Game 2, no matter how disciplined the Flyers are. With Carcillo in the lineup, the officials have every excuse to throw a Flyer in the box. Danny just has to make sure he's taking a Blackhawk with him when it inevitably happens.

Tonight's game should feature a much slower tempo and a lot less scoring. If the Flyers apply the fixes they need to apply, we should enjoy the results tonight. Game thread at 5 PM.

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