Richard Panik is off to a stellar start with a team-leading four goals and five points for the Chicago Blackhawks. While that’s fine and dandy, reigning Hart Trophy recipient Patrick Kane, Russian dynamo Artemi Panarin and captain Jonathan Toews have yet to score a goal heading into Tuesday’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers, who are concluding a three-game road trip to begin the season.
“There are guys we need more (from),” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said following practice on Monday. “Across the board, we need more. We can’t be happy with how we’ve played in three games. ... We have to tighten up in all aspects of our game, can’t be satisfied, we need more.” Panik provided more with his first career hat trick in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Nashville in the back end of a home-and-home series. Michal Neuvirth is expected to get the nod for Philadelphia, as the 28-year-old turned aside 23 shots in a 4-2 season-opening victory over Los Angeles on Friday and made 24 saves in a 3-2 win over host Chicago on March 16. Sean Couturier tallied twice versus the Kings, but has yet to score a goal in seven career meetings with the Blackhawks.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CSN Philadelphia, CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE FLYERS (1-0-1): Forward Matt Read was elevated to Philadelphia’s third line in Monday’s practice after recording a goal in a 4-3 overtime loss to Arizona on Saturday and a team second-best eight shots on net in the first two contests. “He’s had an impact and has been good,” coach Dave Hakstol told Philly.com of Read, who mustered just 11 goals last season. Nick Cousins, who was demoted in favor of Read, and rookie free-agent signee Roman Lyubimov alternated on the fourth line, with the latter in line to make his NHL debut on Tuesday.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (1-2-0): Chicago has yielded an NHL-worst seven power-play goals on 13 opportunities this season, with defenseman Duncan Keith being on the ice for six of them and veteran Marian Hossa four. “It hasn’t been good enough. It’s not even close to being good,” Marcus Kruger told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’ve got to battle through it. It’s going to be a process to getting it better.” The 37-year-old Hossa has recorded one assist in each contest this season, but remains one goal shy of 500 for his career.
1. Philadelphia is 0-for-6 on the power play this season and surrendered a short-handed goal versus Arizona.
2. Blackhawks rookie Ryan Hartman (lower body) is unlikely to play versus the Flyers while fellow F Jordin Tootoo (sick) will be re-evaluated on Tuesday, Quenneville said.
3. Philadelphia top-line F Brayden Schenn will serve the final contest of his three-game suspension on Tuesday while D Radko Gudas will be halfway through his six-game ban.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Flyers 1