Time: 08:00 P.M. EST Venue: Wells Fargo Center
Kimmo Timonen watched Chicago clinch the 2010 Stanley Cup with its only victory at Philadelphia in almost two decades. Hoping to finally hoist the Cup as a member of the Blackhawks, the 40-year-old defenseman returns Wednesday night to face a Flyers team that enabled him to chase that elusive dream. Timonen spent seven seasons with Philadelphia, and was on the ice five years ago when Patrick Kane scored in overtime to give Chicago its first Cup since 1961 with a 4-3 victory in Game 6. That remains the Blackhawks' only win in their last 13 regular-season or playoff games at Philadelphia. After the Flyers traded Timonen on Feb. 27, he makes his initial return looking to help Chicago (44-22-6) end an 0-9-1 regular-season skid at Philadelphia that dates to a 4-1 victory Nov. 9, 1996. While it's likely to be an emotional night for the 16-year veteran, it's another on his journey to finally raise the Cup before retiring at season's end." If I'd won the Stanley Cup before I probably wouldn't be (in Chicago)," Timonen told the Blackhawks' official website. "So that is the driving factor here. That's why I'm here." Sidelined because of blood clots discovered in his leg and lungs last summer, Timonen still expected to make his 2014-15 debut with the Flyers (29-29-16). But as their playoff chances dwindled, he talked with general manager Ron Hextall about a trade." If we're out of the playoffs, I asked Kimmo if he wanted to look at going somewhere and taking a run at winning a Stanley Cup," Hextall said." If Kimmo wouldn't have been amicable to being traded, we would not have traded him. He's meant too much to this organization to trade him if it was against his wishes." Advertising Timonen's return on their website, the Flyers likely will pay tribute to the man who ranks third among active NHL defensemen with 571 points." Kimmo's definitely one of the really good guys in the game," Philadelphia goaltender Steve Mason said. Though Timonen doesn't have a point and is a minus-2 while averaging 12:27 minutes in nine games with his new team, Chicago has allowed 13 goals to go 7-1-1 in those contests. The Blackhawks rebounded from Saturday's 4-0 loss at Dallas by winning 3-1 at Carolina on Monday. Andrew Shaw scored twice and Corey Crawford made 43 saves to help Chicago win for the ninth time in 12 games ." We'll do what we have to do to win those tight games," said captain Jonathan Toews, who recorded his 500th point with an assist on Shaw's empty-netter. "We know we could have played better, done some little things better but the main thing is to build off (it)." Ex-Flyer Patrick Sharp added a goal and an assist. With two assists during a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 21, Sharp has six and a goal during a four-game point streak against his former club. The Flyers return from an 0-2-2 trip through Canada where they matched a club record with a ninth straight road defeat, 5-4 in overtime at Edmonton on Saturday." It's frustrating and disappointing," said forward Claude Giroux, who scored twice. Philadelphia is 9-20-10 on the road but 20-9-6 at home, where it's 5-1-1 since dropping three straight to open February. Giroux has three goals in two games after going 10 straight without one. He has one in his last 13 home contests but three scores with six assists in his last six regular-season and playoff meetings there versus Chicago.
Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Ryan White and Michael Raffl scored goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Giroux had his 22nd goal for his first even-strength score at home this season. Steve Mason was stout again for the Flyers, finishing with 34 saves. Andrew Shaw scored for the Blackhawks. Flyers fans gave Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen a standing ovation during a video tribute for the returning defenseman who helped lead Philadelphia to the 2010 Stanley Cup final. Timonen returned to Philadelphia for the first time since he was traded to Chicago in February for two draft picks. Timonen's Philly career ended because of blood clots that sidelined him all season until he was traded. Timonen, who joined the Flyers in 2007, had said he would retire at the end of the season and wanted to go out with a playoff contender. Long out of the postseason picture, the Flyers granted his wish once he was cleared to skate. The four-time All-Star waved to the crowd and players on both sides tapped the ice with their sticks during a video tribute in the first period.'' Everything's been unusual,'' Timonen said before the game. ''I'm trying to find my game. It's been a process the last three weeks. We have a really good team. Even if I play 10, 12 minutes a game, we win games. I have to remind myself the reason why I'm here. It's not to play 20 minutes, it's to help this team as much as possible. The playoffs and the Stanley Cup is the biggest thing.'' The Flyers beat the Blackhawks at home for the 11th straight time during the regular season, dating to Nov. 9, 1996. However, Chicago won in Philadelphia in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup final to clinch the championship. The Blackhawks won the Cup again in 2013 while the Flyers are still chasing their first title since 1975. For a night, this game had as close to a playoff feel as the Flyers will get this season. Simmonds scored his 100th career goal as a Flyer in the first period for a 1-0 lead.'' I think we were making smart decisions with the puck,'' Simmonds said. ''One of the biggest things we talked about before the game was we have to be smart with the puck and to have smart puck management. We haven't made too many turnovers in the neutral zone or trying to do anything fancy.'' Minutes after Simmonds scored, the Flyers aired the tribute to Timonen.'' It was kind of tear-jerking,'' Simmonds said. ''Kimmo is an awesome player and he's even a better person so that made it even better.'' Flyers fans chanted ''Kim-mo! Kim-mo!'' in the final minutes and he received another standing ovation when he returned to the ice as the third star of the game. White and Giroux both scored in the second period to build a 3-0 lead. Giroux is in the thick of the scoring race, somehow, without a 5-on-5 goal at the Wells Fargo Center before tonight. Giroux, an All-Star this season, had downplayed the dubious distinction. But he tipped the puck over Corey Crawford's glove midway through the second for the 3-0 lead. Jakub Voracek had his 53rd assist on the goal and he continued to make ground on the NHL scoring lead. Shaw scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks in the third. Raffl scored his 19th goal of the season in the final minutes of the game for a 4-1 lead. NOTES: The Flyers have five home games over the final seven of the season. ... The Blackhawks had allowed the second-fewest goals in the NHL (2.22).