Highlights: Flyers get blown out by 'Hawks
Kris Versteeg celebrates after scoring in the second period of Chicago's 7-2 win over the Flyers. (USA Today Images)
CHICAGO -- Ray Emery’s homecoming at United Center was more a disaster than a coming out party.
He gave up four goals on the first 10 shots and, well, that pretty much set the tone Wednesday night during a 7-2 humiliating Flyers’ loss to the Blackhawks.
Instead of making up some ground on Metropolitan Division foes, the Flyers return home having lost ground in the standings, earning just five of a possible 12 points during their six-game road trip which ended 2-3-1.
Not good enough.
The Flyers wanted to know how they measure up to the league’s best team and defending Stanley Cup champions.
What they found out is they don’t come close to stacking up to the Blackhawks.
The Flyers held a 1-0 lead going into the second period, when the Hawks scored twice in the opening 1:22 to grab the game by the throat.
They had 1:34 remaining on a carryover power play and made use of it with Duncan Keith’s blast from the left point to tie the game at 43 seconds.
On the ensuing shift, Andrew Shaw embarrassed Andrej Meszaros, going behind the Flyers' net to play with the puck, moving left to right, swinging around and ripping a wraparound shot inside the far post for a 2-1 lead.
Flyers coach Craig Berube called timeout because those two goals awakened the sleeping 'Hawks and their raucous crowd.
Before the period was over, however, ex-Flyer Kris Versteeg scored shorthanded, while the Hawks collected five goals in the stanza for a rout.
The Flyers changed time zones five times during this 12-day, six-game trip. They flew 5,629 miles but if a fan drove to the games, he or she would have covered 6,801 miles.
This one isn’t good. Flyers goalies have given up at least four goals in regulation now for three straight games.
During a first-period timeout, the Blackhawks had a salute to Ray Emery, who was a vital part of their Stanley Cup-winning team last season. Fans gave him a standing ovation.
Chicago scored five times on just 11 shots in the second period. Pretty good shooting percentage, eh?
The NHL’s second-leading scorer coming in (40 points) had some quality chances. Emery stopped him point-blank early in the game off a nice setup from Versteeg.
The ex-Flyer, who never should have been traded (Matt Ellison), lost a goal to Jonathan Toews but scored in the final period.
Emery yielded six goals on 18 shots before being relieved by Steve Mason 1:05 into the third period with the score 6-2. Four of the goals on Emery came on plays inside the Flyers’ zone. Only one came off the rush.
Chicago came in with the 28th-worst penalty kill in the NHL. That’s something the Flyers needed to exploit on the power play. Well, Jakub Voracek did in the first period with a shot in the slot off Keith for a 1-0 lead. Sean Couturier had a steal on the Flyers' second power play that set up a Steve Downie breakaway, but goalie Antti Raanta made a pad stop. Brayden Schenn scored a power-play goal out of a scrum in the second period. Versteeg had a shortie for Chicago.
Raanta had two shorthanded saves in the third period. One on Schenn and the other on Michael Raffl. Both on the same Chicago power play.
Chicago was 2 for 7. The Flyers were 2 for 5.
The Blackhawks have scored at least six goals in three straight games.
Luke Schenn’s elbow and Jay Rosehill’s roughing in the third gave Chicago a five-on-three power play that the 'Hawks converted on.
Hard to believe, Harry, that the No. 1 team in the Western Conference has such a poor penalty kill. Which goes to show that the 'Hawks are simply outscoring everyone else. And they are. They had 122 goals coming into the game -- far outdistancing their nearest rival, Anaheim (106). Also, the Blackhawks' power-play units were fourth in the NHL with 25 power-play goals.
Five or more
This was the 14th game the 'Hawks scored at least five goals.
Draw between Wayne Simmonds and Sheldon Brookbank in the first period.
Forward Tye McGinn (ill) along with defensemen Hal Gill and Erik Gustafsson, both of whom were healthy.
The Flyers will return home after the game to host Danny Briere and the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. This is Briere’s first game back in South Philly since being bought out last summer. ... The Flyers are now 2-3-1 against the Central Division and a very poor 3-6-1 against the Western Conference.