NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Philadelphia 1 0 2 3
Chicago 1 0 0 1
1
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET21:30 BRT, March 21, 2019
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 21,484

Blackhawks, Flyers match up, in need of crucial victory

Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks

  1. Over the last 20 seasons, Philadelphia has gone 18-6-0-0 against Chicago, Philadelphia's best record versus any team and Chicago's second worst record versus any team over that span (vs. Vegas, 0-5-1).
  2. Philadelphia lost to Montreal last time out, 1-0, scoring its lone goal on the power play. The team had gone seven straight without a power-play goal, one shy of its longest streak this season.
  3. Sean Couturier scored his 30th goal of the season last time out, to go along with his 40 assists. He is one of six skaters with at least 30 goals and 40 assists in each of the last two seasons.
  4. Chicago lost to Vancouver in overtime, 3-2, following a five-game winning streak. Still, its six-game streak taking points is tied with Tampa Bay for the longest active streak in the NHL.
  5. Jonathan Toews scored his 31st goal of the season in his last game. His only two seasons with more goals were 2008-09 (34 goals) and 2010-11 (32 goals) -- he only had more points in 2010-11 (76) than his 72 this season.
  6. Patrick Kane had two assists last time out, and his 60 assists this season are tied for a career-high, set in 2015-16. That was also his only other season crossing the 40-goal plateau (46 in 2015-16) -- he has 41 goals this season.

While the Chicago Blackhawks continue to push for a spot in the playoffs, the hope of a postseason place for the Philadelphia Flyers seems to be fading.

Both of these desperate clubs will look to bounce back from frustrating results when they meet Thursday night in Chicago.

The Blackhawks took a five-game winning streak into Monday's home matchup with Vancouver, and though they came away with a point in the 3-2 overtime defeat, it was a missed opportunity for a team with little room for error down the stretch.

Chicago, amid that 5-0-1 stretch, is four points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and has some traffic in the way just to reach playoff position.

Defenseman Eric Gustafsson's goal late in the third period tied Monday's game at 2, but the Canucks scored 16 seconds into the extra session to stun Chicago and its fans.

"We can't give up chances like that right off the hop," captain Jonathan Toews told the Blackhawks' official website.

"We need to win every game. We needed to win (Monday), and we'll need to win the next one. That's all we can really think about."

Toews scored his 31st goal, leaving him three shy of equaling a career high set in 2008-09. Teammate Patrick Kane added two assists and has 101 points on the season. Kane has 29 points in the Blackhawks' last 15 home contests.

One game after recording a career-high 48 saves during a 2-0 win in his home town of Montreal, Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots versus Vancouver. The Chicago netminder has a 1.74 goals-against average during the 5-0-1 stretch.

Crawford managed just 21 saves in a 4-0 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 10.

The Flyers could use another performance like that as their playoff chances in the East continue to dwindle. Philadelphia has dropped three of four and sits six points out of the final wild-card position in the conference.

On Tuesday, the Flyers fell behind 2-0 at home to Montreal -- the team directly above them in the conference standings -- and lost 3-1. Sean Couturier's 30th goal, one off matching his career high set last season, got Philadelphia within a goal near the midway point of the third period, but it proved not enough.

"Definitely need that game, but we've got nine games left," rookie goalie Carter Hart, who made 33 saves Tuesday, told the Flyers' official website.

"Mathematically, we're not out of it. So, there's still a chance, and that's what the mindset has to be in (the) locker room."

Hart has stopped 74 of the 77 shots he's faced while Philadelphia has split its last two games. Brian Elliott, who shut out the Blackhawks on 33 saves in November, stopped 44 pucks in a wild 7-6 loss at Toronto on Friday, in his most recent start.

Despite their recent overall struggles, the Flyers find themselves amid a 9-2-1 road stretch.

Couturier has at least a point in five consecutive road contests, and six goals with 12 assists in his last 14 away from home. He had two goals with an assist against the Blackhawks earlier this season.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 20, 2019

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