10 observations: Philipp Kurashev, Lukas Reichel lift Blackhawks to bounce-back win over Flyers

10 observations: Philipp Kurashev, Lukas Reichel lift Blackhawks to bounce-back win over Flyers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks bounced back with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center.

Here are 10 observations from the victory:

1. The Blackhawks turned in a very strong first period, which was the complete opposite from Thursday in Ottawa. They went into the intermission ahead 2-0 and led 10-7 in shots on goal. That’s more like it.

2. I don’t think Philipp Kurashev wants the month of March to end. He scored a goal and added a primary assist to give himself 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his last 14 games after going four straight without a point. It was his sixth multi-point effort of the month. He’s been great lately.

3. Connor Bedard was moved to the wing on the first line and Jason Dickinson served as the center. That trio was pretty good together. How about the pass from Bedard on Kurashev’s 16th goal of the season? Thing of beauty. And credit to Alex Vlasic for opening up the lane by driving hard to the net.

4. Lukas Reichel ended a 26-game goal drought by scoring the opening goal just 2:01 into the game. He followed up his shot on the wraparound and was rewarded for it. It was his first goal since Dec. 19 and his fourth of the season. He also added a primary assist on Joey Anderson‘s goal in the third period for his first multi-point outing of the season. His confidence is certainly growing.

5. Anyone else notice that Reichel has been playing with black tape the last few games? He typically uses white tape. He and Andreas Athanasiou decided to change it up together in the third period vs. San Jose because they were both in scoring droughts. It worked for Reichel, but Athanasiou is still searching for his first goal of the season.

6. Flyers fans booed the team at the end of the first period when the Blackhawks were up 2-0. Scott Laughton tried spicing things up by dropping the gloves with Ryan Donato in the final minute. I probably wouldn’t have obliged if I was Donato, but it didn’t matter because the Flyers didn’t get too much momentum from it.

7. Arvid Söderblom saved 1.92 goals above expected, per Natural Stat Trick. He stopped 30 of 31 shots for a save percentage of .968. A well-deserved win, although I’m sure he would like to have back the lone goal he allowed. It was a 46-foot wrist shot by Tyson Foerster just 17 seconds into the middle frame. The Blackhawks were up 2-0 and it didn’t end up doing damage in the grand scheme of things, but at the time, that was one you felt he should have.

8. Bedard was penalized for goaltender interference in the second period, and it was one of the most questionable calls of the season. He threw his hands in the air and appeared to be confused that the penalty was on him. Fortunately for the Blackhawks, they killed off the penalty. If Philadelphia had scored to tie it up at 2-2, Luke Richardson might not have gone full John Tortorella on the officials, but he most definitely wouldn’t have sat on his hands, either.

9. Nikita Zaitsev did not play due to an illness and upper-body injury. He left Thursday’s game in Ottawa after the first period, and Richardson said afterward that Zaitsev was “not good enough to compete in the NHL tonight.”

Jarred Tinordi drew into the lineup for Zaitsev after being a healthy scratch the last three games. He recorded a primary assist on Reichel’s goal, which had to feel good for him. He had a strong all-around game.

10. The Blackhawks have won their last two games in Philadelphia and have a goal differential of +7 in those two games. They were 1-15-1 with a -29 goal differential in their previous 17 games all-time at Wells Fargo Center in the regular season.

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