Joel Quenneville is no stranger to using colorful language to get his point across, however, one might ascertain there’s a bit more behind Tuesday’s profanity-laced outburst with the Chicago Blackhawks on the wrong end of five of their last six contests. With just six goals during their three-game losing skid, the Blackhawks look to get it in gear on Wednesday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I didn’t like the last part of our practice. The intensity and the pace went down to a tough-to-watch (level). It was just, ‘Let’s go,'” Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. Patrick Kane has been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back contests following a six-game point streak, but the former Hart Trophy winner has tormented Philadelphia with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 11 career contests - and that’s excluding his Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 2010. The Flyers became the first team to fall victim to Arizona on Monday, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision despite Sean Couturier scoring twice to give him eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last four games. The 24-year-old Couturier, who has 32 points and is a plus-28 in his last 32 games dating to last season, has nine goals to lead the team and resides just six tallies shy of matching his career-best total after playing all 82 contests in the 2014-15 campaign.
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ABOUT THE FLYERS (6-5-1): Rookie forward Nolan Patrick joined defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere (upper body) and Andrew MacDonald (lower body) by being placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, with the second overall pick missing the last three contests while nursing an upper-body ailment. Philadelphia recalled Will O‘Neill from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, with the defenseman barely able to contain himself as he sits on the verge of making his NHL debut. “It’s my first time here and it’s been a long time coming for me, so I‘m excited and looking forward to it,” said O‘Neill, who has scored one goal and set up two others in nine games with the Phantoms.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (5-5-2): Artem Anisimov has shown signs of breaking out of his offensive slump by scoring in his second straight contest in Saturday’s 6-3 setback to Colorado. The 29-year-old Russian scored two goals and set up two others in a 7-4 rout of Philadelphia on Oct. 18, 2016 before adding an assist in a 3-1 setback to the Flyers on Dec. 3. Brandon Saad, who leads the team with six goals, has just one point - an assist - in his last six games.
1. Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, who notched a pair of assists on Monday, has scored at least one point in nine of 12 contests this season.
2. Chicago is 0-for-14 on the power play in the last three games and surrendered four tallies while on the penalty kill in that same stretch.
3. Flyers RW Wayne Simmonds has been held off the scoresheet in four straight contests after recording nine points (six goals, three assists) in his previous eight.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Flyers 1