Antti Raanta stopped all 32 shots that he faced, and Patrick Kane picked up a pair of power play goals as the Chicago Blackhawks grounded the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-0 shutout on Tuesday night.
Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad each picked up goals for the Hawks, and Steve Mason made 39 saves for the Flyers in the loss. The victory pushes the Blackhawks’ point streak to five games as they wrap up a successful homestand.
The game opened up with the Blackhawks dominating possession in the first period once again, and they came close on several occasions to scoring the first goal. Johnny Oduya got a nice pass from Kane in the middle of the ice, but Mason was there to make the stop. Kane feathered another pass to Kris Versteeg a few minutes later, but he fired it right into the “P” insignia on Mason’s chest to keep things scoreless.
After all of those chances, it was the team’s third line that ultimately came through with a goal. After Saad bounced a pass off the boards, Bickell made his way down the ice and pushed a pass over to Saad in the middle of the ice. Mason made the initial save, and then made another one on Brad Richards. Richards’ follow-up shot was also stopped, but as the puck lay in the crease behind Mason, Saad pounced on it and pushed it across the goal line to make it 1-0 Blackhawks.
After a bad penalty by Michael Raffl, the Hawks went on the power play and immediately extended their advantage to two goals. Patrick Sharp fired a shot from the point that went just wide, and when the puck ricocheted off the boards, Kane was there to clean up the mess as he popped the rebound in to make it a 2-0 game.
Raanta made a couple of big saves in the moments following the goal, robbing Raffl after a rebound found his stick. A few moments later, the Hawks thanked him by scoring again, with Bickell ripping a shot past Mason and just inside the far post to make it a 3-0 game.
The Flyers had a nice push to end the first period, with Raffl once again being denied and Jakub Voracek getting his first big shot of the game, which was also stopped by Raanta. The Blackhawks were looking to get out of the period unscathed, but they surrendered a power play to Philadelphia as Versteeg committed an offensive zone penalty with six seconds remaining.
The second period began with Philadelphia on the man-advantage, but their only good chance went by the wayside as Voracek got a breakaway that Raanta stopped easily to keep the lead at three games.
As the frame wore on, the Flyers continued to fire away at Raanta, but the young goaltender continued to make save after save. Claude Giroux got a great chance off a touch pass from Raffl, but Raanta kicked across the crease and made the save. The next trip down the ice, Michael del Zotto pushed a pass over to a rushing Giroux, but once again Raanta stopped the one-timer to keep his shutout intact.
The Blackhawks did get a few chances late in the period, but none of them got past Mason. Ben Smith tipped a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot just wide of the net, and a few moments later Saad and Marian Hossa both barely missed picking up a rebound chance when a shot went off the boards. Versteeg had one final chance off a nice pass from Smith, but Mason denied it to keep the game at 3-0 after two periods.
Just two and a half minutes into the third period, the Blackhawks got another power play as Blair Jones was whistled for charging, and they made Philadelphia pay. Luke Schenn blocked a shot in front, and Duncan Keith pounced on it. His chance didn’t go, but Kane was there to pick up the rebound and the goal, giving Chicago a 4-0 edge.
The Flyers got a few more chances late in the game, but they weren’t able to put one past Raanta. Voracek had a couple of good ones, but the goaltender made both saves to preserve his shutout and an emphatic victory for the Hawks.
The Blackhawks will hit the road on Thursday night when they take on the Nashville Predators for the first contest of a quick two game trip.