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Blackhawks vs. Flyers preview: Kimmo Timonen returns to Philadelphia

Chicago looks for first regular-season win since 1996 in Philadelphia as they finish their four-game road trip.

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James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crawford will start in net as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the struggling Philadelphia Flyers in Kimmo Timonen's return Wednesday to Wells Fargo Center.

The Blackhawks (44-22-6) have gone 7-1-1 since the 40-year-old TImonen joined the team. Timonen didn't play all season in Philadelphia (29-29-16) because of blood clot issues, but was traded to Chicago on Feb. 27 for two draft picks.

Timonen, who plans to retire after this season, has yet to register a point in a Blackhawks sweater. It will Timonen's first game playing against the Flyers since Nov. 29, 2006 with the Nashville Predators. He won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers best defenseman five times, including the last three years. He ranks third all-time among Flyers defenseman with 270 points (38 goals and 232 assists) during 519 games.

Chicago has recorded wins in five of their last six games. The lone lost came Saturday in a 4-0 setback in Dallas, but they bounced back Monday at Carolina with a 3-1 decision. It's wasn't the best effort, but Crawford literally saved the day, stopping 43 shots, including 15 in the third period for the win. Andrew Shaw opened the scoring in the first period and sealed it with an empty-net goal.

It was milestone Monday for the Blackhawks as captain Jonathan Toews picked up his 500th career point with an assist on Shaw's second goal, and Coach Joel Quenneville grabbed his 750th career win.

The Blackhawks 22-13-1 on the road this season and close out a four-game road trip against the Flyers. Chicago has won two of the last three contests against the Flyers, including the first meeting of the season, 4-0, on Oct. 21 at Chicago with Patrick Kane scoring twice. Chicago hasn't won a regular-season game in Philadelphia since Nov. 9, 1996, dropping 10 straight on the road against the Broadstreet Bullies.

Here are the lines from Wednesday's morning skate:

Saad Toews Shaw
Sharp Vermette Hossa
Bickell Richards Versteeg
Nordstrom Kruger Teravainen

During line rushes and last game, Teravainen skated on the right wing, but Quenneville told reporters after the skate Shaw will take the spot tonight.

Crawford did see a team doctor after taking a Bryan Bickell shot off his mask, but he returned to the ice and resumed practice. Crawford's only faced the Flyers once in his career, allowing three goals in a 4-1 loss on Jan. 23, 2011.

Note: It's been a year since The Daily Herald's Blackhawks' beat writer Tim Sassone died. He was the constant journalistic presence covering the team during its down years. The lessons he taught readers about hockey, journalism and life are still here today.

Opponent Breakdown: Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers have lost four straight games as they've called to 11 points out of the Eastern Conference's final postseason berth with only eight games left. Philadelphia couldn't even beat Edmonton on Saturday, when it closed a four-game road swing with a 5-4 overtime loss.

Former Blackhawks' goaltender Ray Emery made 29 saves after Steve Mason skated off the ice during pre-game warmups with an illness. Mason could be in net against Chicago.

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek lead the Flyers offense. Voracek is tied for second (Alex Ovechkin) in the league with 73 points in 72 games, while the captain ranks ninth with 67 points. Voracek has 10 assists and 15 points in 22 career games against Chicago.

The duo has been a force on special teams for the fourth-ranked power play unit. Giroux leads the NHL with 34 points (23 goals, 22 assists) on the man advantage and Voracek shares fifth with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists).

Winger Wayne Simmonds 14 goals is tied third-most in the league. Simmonds also leads the Flyers' leading goal-scorer with 27 tallies in 74 games.

The Flyers are 20-9-6 at home this season, including a 5-1-2 mark since the new year.

Injury Report

ChicagoPatrick Kane (collarbone)

Philadelphia: Luke Schenn (lower-body), R.J. Umberger (hip), Radko Gudas (knee) and Chris Pronger (concussion)

Game Information

When: 7 p.m. CT

Where: Wells Fargo Center


Radio: WGN-720

For Chicago Blackhawks tickets, check out Ticketmaster. Follow Second City Hockey on Twitter at @2ndCityHockeyand Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain.