Claude Giroux scored 5:59 into overtime Wednesday night to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night.
The victory gets the Flyers back in the series. The Hawks still own a 2-games-to-1 edge with Game 4 scheduled for Friday night in Philadelphia.
Of course, panic will now ensue in the streets of Chicago. The Hawks lost a game. How dare they?
There will be no panic here, however. I'm not much of a worrier in these types of situations. This is the Hawks first loss since May 9. I wasn't expecting them to sweep. It is only one loss. Sometimes, you lose to good teams and Philadelphia is a good team. I might start to worry if the Flyers win three games in this series, but not until then.
From my perspective, the biggest difference in Game 3 was special teams. The Hawks outscored the Flyers 3-2 at even strength. However, Philadelphia went 2 for 3 on the power play, while the Hawks failed to score on all three of their chances with the man advantage. As a matter of fact, Chicago has not scored on the power play yet in this series. That's one thing that needs to change for Game 4.
I thought a critical moment came early in the second period. Duncan Keith had just scored for the Hawks at 2:49 to knot the score at 1-1. Philadelphia's defensive stalwart, Chris Pronger, was whistled for high-sticking at 3:36. The Flyers had their best penalty-killer sitting in the box. That was a golden chance for the Hawks to grab the lead, but they didn't generate much on the power play.
The Flyers got the next power play after that, and Scott Hartnell scored at 9:55 to give Philly a 2-1 lead. The Hawks battled back to take a 3-2 lead. Brent Sopel, of all people, tied the game at 17:52 of the second. Patrick Kane's breakaway goal at 2:50 of the third gave the Hawks a brief advantage. Ville Leino scored for Philly just 20 seconds later to tie the game and set the stage for the overtime.
I give credit to the Flyers. This was a must-win game for them, and they won it. On to the next game.