Blackhawks Lose Sunday Matinee Showdown With Flyers

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NFC Championship Game Halftime Break: Recap Of Blackhawks Loss To Flyers

While you're figuring out (and hoping Lovie Smith is, too) how the Bears will overcome their 14-0 halftime deficit to the Packers, here's a recap of the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first meeting between the two teams since last year's Stanley Cup Finals.

Jeff Carter scored twice for the Flyers and Nikolay Zherdev added a goal; Scott Hartnell added an empty net goal in the last minute of the game to wrap up the scoring for the Flyers. Claude Giroux had four assists as the Flyers won their ninth in their last 11 games. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, looked pretty listless. The first goal, by Carter less than a minute into the second period, was poked under Corey Crawford in a scrum near the crease; it looked like play probably should have been stopped before the goal was scored.

That changed the whole tenor of the game, with the Hawks outplayed by what looked like a clearly superior team. Sergei Bobrovsky, who took over from last year's Stanley Cup Finals Flyers goalie Michael Leighton (who's been sent to the minor leagues), turned away 30 shots. The only Blackhawks goal was scored by Marian Hossa on a penalty shot midway through the third period.

The Flyers have dominated the Blackhawks during regular-season games; apart from last year's meeting in the Finals, the Flyers have gone 14-2-1 against the Hawks in their last 17 non-playoff matchups.

The Blackhawks will host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at the United Center.

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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Philadelphia Flyers: The Big Game No One's Talking About

When the NHL and NBC scheduled this game to be their first Sunday afternoon telecast, they probably figured they'd get a lot of attention -- you know, Sunday, two big TV markets, the first rematch of the Stanley Cup finals participants from the previous year since they played in June.

Right?

Well, undoubtedly, they didn't figure that the Chicago Bears would be in the NFC Championship Game on the same day, which has reduced this marquee NHL matchup to a footnote in the Chicago media. Fortunately for fans of both the Bears and Blackhawks -- although not so much if you have tickets to both games -- the late morning start time of this game means that it should be just about over at the time the Bears and Packers kick off at Soldier Field this afternoon.

And, this is an important game for the Hawks to make a statement. They did so yesterday in Detroit by convincingly defeating an admittedly depleted (by injury) Red Wings team that is second in the Western Conference. Now, they'll face the East-leading Flyers, who suffered a surprising loss to the awful New Jersey Devils yesterday afternoon. Neither the Hawks, who let Antti Niemi go to the Sharks via free agency, or the Flyers, who sent Michael Leighton to the minors, will have the same goaltender as the last time they met.

Corey Crawford, who made 36 saves and was the third star of yesterday's game, should get the start in goal. The game begins at 11:30 a.m. CST and will be televised on NBC nationally.

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