Philadelphia Flyers-Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago's Cup Grip Tightens
Chicago 2 Philadelphia 1 (United Center) Chicago leads SCF 2-0.
Game Two notes:
“That's your first good hit of the year.” —Adam Burish (to Daniel Carcillo who flattened his Flyers' teammate Jeff Carter while missing his target, Chicago's Tomas Kopecky)
Jim Cornelison's intonation on the anthem is getting worse, not better. It was painful tonight.
The Phantom of the Opera opening on Hockey Night in Canada was pathetic. It makes one wonder who at the CBC is coming up with the lame intro ideas? The "rocking chair" was the worst but tonight's presentation was a close second.
Michael Leighton played better but still not at a Stanley Cup final level. On the first goal against it was Leighton's inability to control the rebound. In addition, he froze the puck when he didn't have to just prior to the goal. It allowed Joel Quenneville to get the Patrick Sharp line on the ice against the Flyers' third defensive pairing.
On the second Chicago goal, Leighton was playing deep and was down early with a shot going over his shoulder. Coming just 28 seconds after the first Blackhawks goal, it was a backbreaker for Philadelphia.
No shows for the Flyers include Danny Briere, and Claude Giroux. They combined for one shot on goal, and were 6-for-20 on faceoffs.
Ben Eager played just 4:03, but had four hits, 10 minutes in penalties, and scored the winning goal.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were once again kept scoreless by Flyers defenders.
Philadelphia outshot Chicago 15-to-4 in the third period but could only score once on a power-play.
Mike Richards had an assist on Simon Gagne's power-play goal, but Richards took two dumb penalties and was charged with three giveaways.
Carcillo was not a factor in the game. He hit the boards and his teammates more often than the opposition, took a penalty and had a minus-one rating. Carcillo had few third period shifts.
"Low pad save" was the theme for Antti Niemi tonight. Didn't the Flyers learn to shoot high in the last series?
Chris Pronger retrieves the game puck just as he did in Game One telling the media that he deposited them in the garbage can where they belong. Classy.
With Glenn Healy and Pierre McGuire being forced to share the tiny space between the benches, the hothouse environment could spark some fisticuffs. One may want to keep HNIC's All Access Cam focused in that direction.
Chicago has won their last seven games straight and ten of their last eleven playoff games. The team taking a 2-0 in the final has won the Stanley Cup 41-of-45 times since 1939.
The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game Three on Wednesday.
Rocket's three stars
1. Patrick Sharp
2. Ben Eager
3. Simon Gagne
Special mention: Duncan Keith
Player quotes from wire services were used in this report.
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