A familiar ending as Chicago Blackhawks fall in OT to Flyers 3-2

A familiar ending as Hawks fall in OT to Flyers 3-2

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

As has been the case throughout this season, the Chicago Blackhawks went to overtime and didn't come away with a victory. Instead it was Philadelphia overcoming an early two goal deficit to skate away with a hard fought 3-2 victory.

If Antti Raanta was at the top of his game he probably makes the save on a nice shot from Claude Giroux in OT. In any event it would be foolish to blame Raanta as for the most part he was as good as could be expected. The Flyers hit iron five times so Raanta was a bit lucky but this loss should not be hung on a backup goaltender.

The finger pointing should not start with Raanta as this same movie has been playing for some time.

When the Hawks play their game the opponent doesn't have the puck often enough to get a lot of shots on goal. Tuesday night the Blackhawks were outshot 37-25. The shot total does indicate the better team this time and the Flyers deserved the victory.

The Flyers, although falling behind by two goals early, outshot the Hawks 14-7 in the opening frame. What should be more alarming is Philadelphia had 14 shots in the third period to five for Chicago.

The Blackhawks looked dynamic for bursts but their effort wasn't sustained. The Hawks came out of the box on fire and jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the opening four minutes. Unfortunately for the Chicago cause the Flyers got a lucky goal on a deflection off of Marcus Kruger's skate less than two minutes later.

Once the Flyers scored they controlled the majority of play and tied the score on Scott Hartnell's second goal late in the opening frame. What started out as if the Hawks would roll over the Flyers like they did in their first meeting, turned into a battle.

As far as individual board battles Philly won the majority and the Hawks did not control the pace. The Flyers forecheck was potent and they did a good job of creating turnovers. The Hawks had trouble getting out of their own zone and had their hands full with a confident group of Flyers.

The Blackhawks are making mistakes non-playoff teams do with regularity. Taking bad penalties has been a constant the last few games. Andrew Shaw took another poor penalty versus the Flyers. That makes four games in a row, and Shaw isn't the only culprit.

Joel Quenneville has had a tough time because the effort isn't there from shift to shift. At some point Quenneville has to share some blame as it his job to motivate, something that wasn't needed last season.

It would be best for Hawk fans to consider this isn't a slump but rather who the team is, at least for now.

With a win the Blackhawks could have taken over sole possession of second place in the Central Division. They also would have had some wind in their sails heading into Wednesday's battle with St. Louis.

As it is the Hawks are tied with Colorado with 93 points but the Av's have tiebreakers in their favor. If the season ended on Tuesday the Blackhawks would finish third in the Central Division and fifth in the Western Conference.

Considering this club has not fired on all cylinders for quite awhile and hasn't won a single OT game this season, fifth in the Conference is about right.

The Blues skate into the United Center with a commanding eight point lead. St. Louis also has played one fewer game so regardless of what happens Wednesday they are in good shape.

It's a real longshot the Hawks can catch the Blues but if they lose tonight other goals may come to the forefront.

To have a chance at a long playoff run the level of play has to improve across the board. There are only 13 games left so tonight wouldn't be too soon for Quenneville to get his club engaged to do battle on every shift.

Al's Shots

There has been a lot of talk about 19-year-old Teuvo Teräväinen coming to Chicago for the stretch run.

The highly-touted young center has been playing in the Swedish Elite League and his season has just ended. There is some red tape to work through but Teravainen may be able to come to the U.S. within a week to 10 days. At least that is the speculation.

The reality is the Blackhawks have so little salary cap space available Teräväinen couldn't play unless one of two things happens. Either a player has to go on the long term injured reserve list or someone needs to be sent to Rockford. That's the word from CapGeek.com.

I think it is doubtful anyone will be placed on waivers. GM Stan Bowman would likely not risk losing a player on waivers so late in the season.

What is more likely is a player goes on LTIR and Teräväinen takes his place. It wouldn't be a shock if somehow Michal Handzus or Michal Rozsival went on LTIR for a "tuneup" before the playoffs.

My guess is unless there is an injury Teräväinen won't get a chance to dress for a game until the playoffs begin.

Getting Teräväinen to play here is interesting on different levels but it should be remembered he is only 19 and isn't as strong as he will be in a couple of years.

If Teräväinen plays during the regular season Quenneville could put him in a position to succeed and shield him from certain situations. But during the playoffs Quenneville probably wouldn't be able to do the same.

Regardless if Teräväinen comes to the U.S. to play, unless there is a change in focus and more desire turns up collectively his arrival won't matter very much.

I will be on Wednesday at 12 p.m. CST talking some Blackhawks for those with the NHL network, available on SiriusXM radio.

I will be back on Thursday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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