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Live blogging Blackhawks v Flyers game five

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

We are live blogging game five. It is a critical game, especially for the Blackhawks. The Chicago Reader notes how sports writers use the term "commanding lead." And that is what will happen to the Flyers, if they have the win.

The Hawks blue line let Annti Niemi hang out there, without protection. Added to this issue is the overconfidence of Niemi, who wasn't aware of the changing situation behind him. Finally, typical at this time of the season, there is a terrific goalie in net for the Flyers.

How does the offense of the Hawks solve the issue of Michael Leighton? The obvious answer: throw pucks at the net. But, I'm not seeing the Hawks use their speed in the transition.

For the Flyers I can only say, keep doing what you're doing. They are avoiding mistakes, avoiding taking penalties and they have played very smart.

Almost game time...

The movement of the players, as they rock on their feet to the national anthem, is one of the moments in the game. I'm not hearing Dock Emerick discuss this much, it happens on every level of the game. It is actually fortunate that fans do not have people like Jim Cornelison belting out off-key versions of the national anthem at every game.  

But that is my opinion. 

The Hawks will have the opportunity to put the last change out tonight, and that includes in the initial faceoff. The starting players for the Flyers are known to the Hawks before the Halwks have to submit their starters.

Generally the starting goalies are known.

Nice move by Dustin Byfuglien forcing a turnover and getting a shot on Leighton. Dustin is going to need some support up there as he isn't the fastest player or the most skilled player. However, his size and all-around skills, plus his ability to post himself off to the side of the net and take advantage of  rebounds is really important.

Penalty (1) against the Flyers. The Flyers were successful in keeping out of the sin bin for much of the first and second period of the previous games. They've been very disciplined, something I doubt many old fans of hockey would believe.

There is nice movement and the Hawks had a few shots on goal in the first 60 seconds of the advantage. The Flyers killed the advantage.

There is nice pressure against Leighton in the first five minutes. Despite the fact the power play failed, there was good pressure. There is a lot of pressure on Leighton, I thought the Hawks had Leighton several times with just twelve minutes or so, but he held them.

As I said, outstanding goaltending.

Penalty (1) against the Hawks. 

I believe the Flyers have scored each game with at least one power play. Emerick just noted that the Flyer power play is 31.1 percent, the best in decades in a Stanley Cup Final. Only one SOG registered by the Flyers.

Penalty (2) against the Flyers. We have already seen a difference in how the Flyers are playing, taking two penalties so far this game.

Power play goal at 7.43. Brent Seabrook gets a feed in the left circle from Kris Versteeg and puts it between Chris Pronger's legs and through the stick side of Michael Leighton.

One of the issues in game three and four was that after the Hawks did score, they found the Flyers responding quickly with a goal of their own. I'm seeing more of Dustin Byfuglien on the initial transition. Yet another delayed call on the flyers, the Hawks put a sixth man on the ice and GOAL at 4.34 as David Bolland picks up a loose puck, bouncing off the boards after Michael Leighton refused a shot to put it off Leighton's skate to bounce in. 2-1 with about four minutes left.

GOAL, during a transition Versteeg drags the puck along the blue line and fires from the high slot and they put another past Leighton's stick side or maybe through the five hole at 18.15. 

The score is 3-0. Lot's of good hop by the Hawks here.

SECOND PERIOD---

The Hawks are putting lots of shots on the goal, 13-7. In the first and second periods of the fourth game you may remember that the Hawks had pretty good momentum, putting more shots on Michael Leighton, but were unable to solve him. I don't see what has worked here, except that I'm seeing Dustin Byfuglien going to the net on the transition more. At least one of the goals was a transition goal, that would be the Versteeg goal.

The other two goals were man advantage goals, though the second wasn't officially a power play goal.

Michael Leighton has been shelled from the net. Replacing him is Brian Boucher.

GOAL! The Flyers find an open net at 0.32. Antti Niemi doesn't cover a stop, it trickles out and Scott Hartnell picks up an easy goal.  3-1.

The Flyers just made a transition attack on Niemi. It was really nice and Niemi barely put a stop to it. This shows one of the reasons you may decide to pull a goalie.

GOAL! The Hawks have scored their first goal on Boudher as Andrew Ladd denied in a blocked shot by Chris Pronger, he feeds it to Patrick Kane who was streaking up on the left. Kane found an open net. Now 4-1 at 3.13.

The Flyers just made a transition attack on Niemi. It was really nice and Niemi barely put a stop to it. This shows one of the reasons you may decide to pull a goalie.

GOAL! The Hawks have scored their first goal on Boudher as Andrew Ladd denied in a blocked shot by Chris Pronger, he feeds it to Patrick Kane who was streaking up on the left. Kane found an open net. Now 4-1 at 3.13.

Power Play (2) against the Flyers. The Flyers gave up a goal on a power play and also a goal on a delayed penalty in the first period. As a Hawks fan I'm charged that the Flyers are making mistakes out there. They have been very disciplined throughout the series.

The Hawks are getting a lot of blocked shots. But this is a disappointing power play for the Hawks with only one shot on goal.

We're moving into the ten minute point of the period. The Hawks held a decisive advantage on the Flyers in the first period, notching 13-7 shots on goal. 

While we're working on that, Power Play (2) against the Hawks.

The Shots on goal for the ten minute mark are 16-16. That means the Hawks only have three shots on goal in this period compared to nine for the Flyers.

Back to the power play, the Hawks are working deep, putting their players close to the puck. That works as the Hawks kill the penalty

Power play (3) against the Flyers as Chris Pronger takes a penalty.Byfuglien gets a quick goal. The Hawks moved it between all five skaters, ending with Dustin Byfuglien right in front of the goal. 15.45, power play goal. It is now 5-2.

That's the end of the second frame. 5-2 score with a SOG of 8 for the Hawks and 10 for the Flyers.

THIRD PERIOD---

The first five minutes of the period look like an effort by the two teams to feel each other out. That's not what's happening, of course. By this time in the sereis, let alone in the game, they know a lot about each other.

I suppose we're seeing the Flyers resigned to not being able to get the momentum I'm a bit confused why there isn't a breakdown in the Flyer discipline. In any case the pace of the game is high.

GOAL! James van Reimsdyk picks up a rebound, scoring at 6.36. That brings the Flyers within 5-3.

The SOG shows a relatively evenly matched ten minutes, 4-3 in favor of Philadelphia. Meantime on the ice, we have a television timeout and a Flyer has gone to ice with a stick. NBC is reporting that there is profuse bleeding on the part of Danny Briere following a high stick from Dunkin Keith on a faceoff. This wasn't called

Immediately following that, Kris Versteeg high sticked Chris Pronger for a power play (3) in favor of the Hawks. The Flyers were only able to get a single shot on goal in the power play. It doesn't look good for the Flyers at this point. Although they are still within range of the Hawks, time is running out, with just seven minutes remaining on the clock.

GOAL! The score moves to 6-3. Patrick Kane moves a transition across the blue line, this turns into a 3:2. Kane feeds it to Patrick Sharp who five holes it at 3.52.

GOAL! I was about to write you could put a fork in them, but Velle Leino works his way through a crowd of Hawks to feed it to Simon Gagne who finds Niemi out of position. It is a two goal game again, 6-4.

EMPTY NET GOAL. Now you can stick a fork in them. Dustin Byfuglien gets a pass and pots it for the seventh goal in favor of the Hawks. Empty net goal at 2.05. 7-4.

You have to give Dustin Byfuglien the number one star of the game. Not only did he have two goals, including the one that put an end to the hopes of the Flyers, he also scored the game winning goal.

It was not Chris Pronger's night. The home team has won every game of the series, but you have to hope that the Hawks don't make this any more exciting than it needs to be. Finish them off, Hawks.

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