Game 68 Preview: Blackhawks return to Philadelphia, Flyers tough stretch continues


Patrick Kane had two assists in the Blackhawks 7-2 win over the Flyers on December 11. The Flyers host the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. (Photo Courtesy of

The Flyers second meeting with the defending Stanley Cup Champions has so much more meaning than the first. The first meeting against the Chicago Blackhawks, a 7-2 loss on Dec. 11, was simply about trying to stack up with one of the league's best for a long as possible. That lasted for about 25 minutes before Chicago completely took over.

The second meeting, tonight at Wells Fargo Center at 7:30 p.m., is about trying to beat that team. The third of 12 straight games against playoff teams is a team that is fully healthy and ready to go. It also marks the second time the Flyers and Blackhawks have played in Philadelphia since Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. 

Chicago is not firing on all cylinders at the moment, but still a very difficult team for the Flyers to face. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane always create problems. Toews has 64 points including 37 assists. Kane leads the Blackhawks with 68 points and 29 goals.

Also tied for the team-lead in goals with 29 is former Flyer Patrick Sharp. Sharp is second on the team with 65 points.

Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad balance the offense for Chicago while Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook lead the defense. 

In goal, the Blackhawks will tab Antti Raanta. Raanta is 12-3-3 with a 2.44 GAA and .904 save percentage. 

The Flyers have several players riding high from the weekend sweep of the Penguins. Winners in seven of their last nine games, five players enter Tuesday's game with point streak. Claude Giroux has five assists over the last three games. Matt Read scored three goals over the weekend as well. Wayne Simmonds, Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn also have two-game point streaks. 

Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn also snapped goalless droughts over the weekend and Jake Voracek, who scored in the first game against the Blackhawks, has gone four games without a goal.

Ray Emery makes his return between the pipes, getting his first start in goal since Feb. 8 against Calgary, a 2-1 win. Emery is 7-9-1 with a 3.02 GAA and a .898 save percentage.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-10th, 25th at home), Blackhawks (4th, 10th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (8th, T-15th at home), Blackhawks (T-22nd, 11th on road)
  • The Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago on December 11 by a score of 7-2. Jake Voracek and Steve Downie scored the goals in the loss.
  • The Flyers have won 15 of their last 18 regular-season games against the Blackhawks including nine straight at home. The Flyers last regular-season home loss to the Blackhawks was on Nov. 9, 1996.
  • Milestone Watch: Vincent Lecavalier needs two goals for 400 in his career. Jake Voracek needs three goals to reach 100 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Erik Gustafsson, Hal Gill, Jay Rosehill 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Scott Hartnell-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Vincent Lecavalier-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Steve Downie
Line 4: Zac Rinaldo-Michael Raffl-Adam Hall

D-Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Andrew MacDonald-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Ray Emery

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet. 

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