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We Could Die Like This: Flyers 4, Blackhawks 3

A Saturday afternoon lead slipped away in the third period.

Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks regular-season woes in Philly continued on Saturday afternoon during a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Oskar Lindblom scored the game’s only first-period goal just 4:46 in but that lead only lasted 24 seconds into the second period thanks to an Alex DeBrincat tally after some nifty skatework from Jonathan Toews resulted in a faceoff win directly to the sniper:

Chicago took its first lead later in the second period after an excellent pass from Patrick Kane set up Dylan Strome for the go-ahead goal:

Cam Atkinson tied the game three minutes later but Strome wasn’t done, adding his second of the game and 11th of the season to give Chicago a 3-2 lead into the second intermission:

That was the end of the Chicago highlights, though. Derick Brassard tied the game at the 3:09 mark of the third and Atkinson scored his second for the game-winner at the 8:20 mark:

The rest of the third period plenty of post-whistle scuffles between each side and an inexplicable penalty for too many men on the Hawks in the final moments, helping the Flyers hang on for a 4-3 win.

Notes

  • The author of these notes may have partaken in some day drinking on a gloriously sunny and warm March day. Anything said below is subject to more sober analysis.
  • One of hockey’s oddest streaks continues: the Blackhawks have not won a regular-season game in Philadelphia since 1996. Conducted some science before the game started and learned our Twitter followers are just as old as we are:
  • This Kirby Dach hit on Kevin Connauton might be getting another look from the league. There’s a bit of bad luck here because Connauton slips a bit before the hit, which puts his head at about the same height as Dach’s elbow. But Dach doesn’t do anything to avoid contact to Connauton’s head, smashing it into the boards.

Given how random the NHL’s wheel of justice spins, making any predictions about what’ll happen to Dach feel pointless. But a phone call from the league on Sunday would not be surprising.

  • Dylan Strome was very good in this game and was rewarded with a pair of goals. Given how inconsistent he has been in his career, it’s hard to lock him in right now with a long-term contract. But it also feels like moving him at the deadline or allowing him to walk for nothing in free agency would be giving up on a potentially good player. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat are the only clear-cut, locks as top-six forwards on this team. Jonathan Toews is more of a debate than we’d all like to admit. Strome is probably in the debatable category as well, but that puts him ahead of about 95 percent of other players in the system. I hereby plant my flag in the “bring back Dylan Strome for one more season” camp.
  • Rough game for Seth Jones, who has been very good for large stretches this season but has struggled with turnovers and his general play in the defensive zone recently. That pass through him to Derick Brassard for the game-tying goal just can’t happen. Here’s hoping it’s a blip on the radar, given his contract and all.
  • It can’t be easy for Kevin Lankinen to find a consistent rhythm in net given how infrequently he’s played this season as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup, but Lankinen also hasn’t exactly seized the opportunities he’s been given this season. It ventures into a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument that exists for virtually every goalie: doesn’t play as well because he doesn’t play as much, but also doesn’t play as much so he doesn’t get into enough of a rhythm to play well. Still, it feels like there was more confidence in Lankinen as a long-term option after last season than there is right now and that’s not great.
  • A mostly rhetorical question:

That’s four in two games. Stop it.

  • Had no idea that the Hawks had a decent record of holding leads to start the final period. This game bucked that trend, though:
  • If you’re in the Chicagoland area, hope you were able to take advantage of the glorious morning and afternoon before it rains sideways this evening.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Cam Atkinson (PHI) — 2 G, 1 A
  2. Dylan Strome (CHI) — 2 G
  3. Joel Farabee (PHI) — 3 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks return home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night at the United Center at 6 p.m.