Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night:
1. Unfortunate break leads to first goal but no excuse for quiet start.
Despite a three-day break, the Blackhawks got off to a slow start in the first period and didn't exactly get some luck along the way either. Claude Giroux put the Flyers on the board first when he buried a one-timer from Jakub Voracek, capitalizing on a defensive breakdown, but also taking advantage of an unfortunate break for the Blackhawks.
Patrick Sharp tried passing to Duncan Keith, but the puck hit the official's skate along the boards and fell right into the lap of Voracek, who controlled the puck then fed Giroux a pass that eventually led to the goal.
Still, the Blackhawks didn't come out with a lot of push and it showed. They recorded 18 shot attempts compared to the Flyers' 30 in the opening frame.
2. First-line reunion short-lived.
Joel Quenneville tried rekindling some magic that worked pretty well in the same building back in 2010 by reuniting Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the first line, but it didn't last long.
After a quiet first 20 minutes, Quenneville separated the trio by moving Brandon Saad up to his normal top-line spot at left wing, alongside Toews and Kane to start the second period, and it actually was the team's best line following the change. Saad finished with a game-high 13 shot attempts, eight of which were on goal.
It was his best game in a while. Same with Kane, who registered five shots on goal, and played with a purpose in the third period.
3. Blackhawks have no answer for Flyers top line.
In our Three Things to Watch, we noted how dangerous Philly's Big 3 is and they showed exactly why in this one.
All three of the Flyers' goals came from their first line, and each member found the back of the net: Giroux and Voracek in the first, and Sean Couturier in the second, all coming at even strength. They combined for three goals, four assists, eight shot attempts and six shots on goal.
4. Lacking the finish.
The Blackhawks have statistically been a below average puck possession team this season, but the quantity of shots wasn't an issue against Philadelphia. They had 69 shot attempts (39 on goal) while the Flyers had 52 attempts (31 on goal), and those numbers are even more surprising when you consider Chicago won only 24 of their 73 faceoffs (33 percent).
The quality of the shots wasn't really a problem, either. The Blackhawks had 27 even-strength scoring chances compared to Philadelphia's 20. They just couldn't finish.
The biggest missed opportunity was a 5-on-3 man advantage in the second period for a solid 1:44, yet they came up empty. Those are the kinds of opportunities that can change the complexion of the game.
5. Connor Murphy on the board.
It was a fitting time for Murphy to score his first goal as a member of the Blackhawks, despite it taking 13 games.
With his mom in the arena for the Blackhawks' mother's trip and his dad, Gord, on the home bench as the assistant coach for the Flyers, Murphy broke his scoring slump when he followed up his own rebound and wristed one past Brian Elliott for his first goal since March 21 of last season.
Murphy finished with seven shot attempts (three on goal), two hits and one blocked shot in 12:49 of ice time.