Rapid Reaction: Flyers 5, Hawks 4
January, 5, 2012
By Jesse Rogers
PHILADELPHIA -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday:
How it happened: The Hawks had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to rookies Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw but they gave it back, and then some, in an atrocious stretch in the second period. Three goals in 4:20 by Philadelphia was the difference and the game was essentially over. But even before the Flyers went off the Hawks were playing poor in their own zone unable to clear the puck and giving Philadelphia multiple scoring chances per sequence. All six defenders for the visitors had issues and were on the ice for goals against. Ray Emery was under siege, facing 34 shots in the first 40 minutes. Hayes scored off a Jamal Mayers feed, showing soft hands in the process. Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane evened the score 25 seconds apart in the third. But James van Riemsdyk's goal with 30 seconds left won it for the Flyers.
What it means: It’s the Hawks' third loss in four games officially putting them in a mini-funk. When Hayes and Shaw are two of the best forwards on the ice it’s probably not a good thing. The Hawks' defense, in their own zone, when pressured, continues to be a sore spot at times, reminiscent of losses in Games 3 and 4 in the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 in the same building. The Hawks were caught chasing the Flyers and getting out of position as Emery had to attempt sprawling saves.
Shaw’s debut: The fifth-round pick began his NHL career with a bang. First he fought Zac Rinaldo, getting bloodied in the process, but returned to score his first NHL goal in the second period on a beauty of a back-hander. Shaw showed good hands and feet, impressing on his first night in the league.
What’s next: The Hawks return to Chicago to face the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. Expect Corey Crawford to start in goal.