NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Chicago
(Wednesday, January 11th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Mike Knuble netted the game-winning goal midway in the third period to lift the Philadelphia Flyers past the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, at United Center.
Michal Handzus notched three assists and Antero Niittymaki made 12 saves for the Flyers, who bounced back into the win column after being blanked on Monday night by New Jersey.
The win puts the Flyers atop the Eastern Conference with 62 points, one ahead of the idle Ottawa Senators. Philadelphia also improved to 8-1-1 on its franchise record 11-game road trip.
Radim Vrbata and Andy Hilbert tallied goals for the Blackhawks, who fell back to their losing ways after snapping a 10-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 4-3 overtime win against Washington.
Craig Anderson allowed four goals on 30 shots in defeat as the Blackhawks have now lost 13 of its last 15 games overall.
With 8:33 left in the final frame and the game tied at 2-2, Knuble tucked home a rebound in front after a shot from Handzus along the left boards was kicked out in front. The goal was the 20th of the season for the forward.
Around two minutes later, rookie Mike Richards stole an outlet pass in the neutral zone, darted into the Chicago zone and unleashed a wrister that beat Anderson on his short side for the 4-2 edge.
Branko Radivojevic added an empty-net goal with 51 seconds to play in the game to seal it for the Flyers.
"We came out hard in the third and we deserved to win," said Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg. "I thought we were a better team today."
The Flyers have now won five straight over the Blackhawks and are 11-1-1 (1 loss, 1 tie) in the last 13 matchups.
Ben Eager gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead, scoring his third goal of the season 2:42 into the game. Eager found a loose puck at the right side of the net and slammed it home for the goal.
Less than three minutes later, the Blackhawks responded with Vrbata tying things up at 1-1. The forward intercepted Eager's pass in Chicago's end and rushed down into the Philadelphia zone along the right boards. He then faked a shot down low, carried the puck behind the net and easily slid it home on the left side after Niittymaki was out of position committing to Vrbata's first move.
R.J. Umberger gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead in the first after grabbing a loose disc behind the net and skating it out in front from the right side and firing a shot that hit off Anderson's stick and into the net at the 10:40 mark.
"We turned over the puck far too much," said Chicago head coach Trent Yawney. "They took advantage of their opportunities. We had the game on our stick, but we didn't finish."
Early in the second, after the Flyers turned the puck over in their own end, Todd Simpson drilled a shot from the point that Hilbert deflected into the top left corner of the net.
Philadelphia improved to 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings in the Windy City...The Flyers close out their road trip tomorrow night in Detroit...Forward Sami Kapanen returned to the lineup for the Flyers after sitting out one-game with a shoulder injury and picked up an assist...The Blackhawks haven't won back-to-back games since beating the Rangers and Thrashers on December 7 and 11...The 14 shots were a season-low for the Blackhawks...Chicago forward Martin LaPointe played in his 800th career-game.
01/12 00:21:50 ET