Rookie goalie Felix Sandstrom made 30 saves on 33 shots in the losing cause as the Flyers’ only offense came on a Kevin Hayes goal less than 10 minutes in. The next 50 minutes would see the Flyers held scoreless by Chicago netminder Kevin Lakinen, who turned aside 33 of 34 shots on the night.
This titanic battle was titled in favor of the home standing Blackhawks as former Flyers great Erik Gustafsson opened the scoring less than two minutes in.
Erik Gustafsson scores against the Flyers, because of course he does. pic.twitter.com/OcXpR63R7z— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
Jonathan Toews added to the lead with a marker less than five minutes later as Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead as the captain broke free from the penalty box and was met with little resistance from Felix Sandstorm.
Out of the box and onto the scoresheet for Jonathan Toews. pic.twitter.com/YED3BYcjoL— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
Kevin Hayes had an answer for Toews’ tally to pull the Flyers within one as we were treated to three goals in the first 8:03 of action from United Center.
Kevin Hayes finishes off the 2-on-1 with Scott Laughton after a nice spring pass by Travis Konecny! pic.twitter.com/gOci2E2CKg— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
Nice to see the Flyers finish a 2-on-1 like a real hockey team for a change!
After a flying start both clubs settled in during the latter stages of the first as both Sandstrom and Kevin Lankinen eased in the crease — especially this dandy from Felix ““the cat.”
After 20: Blackhawks 2, Flyers 1
The Flyers opened the second with plenty of jump looking to tie things up and spending a considerable amount of time in the Chicago zone.
Reward would come as former Flyers great Erik Gustafsson was booked for one of the more egregious delay of game calls we’ve ever seen to give the potent Philadelphia power play the shot to equalize.
That's the Erik Gustafsson we know and love. pic.twitter.com/z6UjVUgHXG— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
No dice though as the power play failed to capitalize, staying ice cold in the process.
Speaking of ice cold, the second period in this game — just a total snooze fest with these teams playing out the string.
Nothing is happening, in case you were wondering about the lack of tweets.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 26, 2022
Scott Laughton took a slashing call with a little over three minutes left in the frame, and it was the most interesting thing that happened in nearly 10 minutes of game time.
In an effort to give the Blackhawks their two-goal lead back, the Flyers took another penalty just before the horn sounded as James van Riemsdyk visited the sin bin.
After 40: Blackhawks 2, Flyers 1
The parade to the penalty box continued for the Flyers to start the third as Ronnie Attard sat early on to give Chicago a fourth power play chance following empty trips on their first three on the night.
As was the case with the previous three nothing going as the Flyers’ penalty kill moved to a perfect 4-for-4, though their own power play was 0-for-3 to this point to negate the special teams battle.
Things started to open up a bit midway through the third and the Blackhawks would take advantage as Alex DeBrincat rifled home a one-timer off a perfect feed from Patrick Kane to make it 3-1.
After a couple of nice saves from Sandstrom to keep the Flyers within one the netminder had no chance to deny DeBrincat.
Kane to Debrincat after a Flyers turnover. 3-1 Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/CROdwvlkeE— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
Armed with a two-goal lead the Hawks would go right back to the power play with a chance to put a nice bow on an important loss for the Flyers in #TankWatch.
No goals on the power play, but two more minutes bled off the clock in a wildly uninteresting game through 53 minutes.
Speaking of wild, the Sixers are really going to blow a 3-0 series lead aren’t they?
Flyers pull the goalie with a little over three minutes left looking to get back into a game that they really didn’t want to win in the first place.
Bobby Brink made a nice move out in front a drew a penalty on Jake McCabe, and boy it sure would be nice to see Brink get that first NHL goal sooner rather than later.
Of course he’d ring one off the post behind Lakinen just after typing the above, but somehow the puck stayed out and the deficit stayed at two with just over a minute left despite Brink’s efforts.
Bobby Brink came oh-so-close to his first NHL goal. pic.twitter.com/VhO6zST28D— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 26, 2022
That proved to be the last gasp as the Flyers would have nothing more to offer, returning to the losing column after the surprise win over the Penguins on Sunday afternoon.