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2010 Stanley Cup Nightcap: Fit To Be Tied (Series)

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Blackhawks: 3 - Flyers: 5 (Series Tied 2-2)

Oh Chicago Blackhawks, if only you had shown up for the entire game like you seemed to do for the final ten minutes of this game... we may have seen a different result tonight. Instead, it was the physical play of the Philadelphia Flyers that set the tone early, staked them out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and from there it was a constant game of catchup for the Hawks that they could never really finish off.

Granted they weren't helped by the game refs either. Not to go all "the refs are to blame" on you, but lets be honest the Hawks had more called against them than the Flyers did and you could argue the Flyers were just as guilty at times and the refs simply missed the calls. In reality though the Flyers have a roster full of players who can be sneaky good at getting away with those little hooks and holds and slashes, so while it would be nice to see the officials on their toes a little more in game five, it's also on the Blackhawks to adjust, stop taking retaliatory penalties like they did at times and fight through the missed calls.

Meanwhile the goaltending at both ends has slowly gotten back into the previous form both Michael Leighton and Antti Niemi. Leighton was solid for pretty much the whole game and Niemi who was victimized bad some bad breaks - not to mention left hanging alone to cover up horrible turnovers given up by the Hawks D - kept the Hawks in the game from the second period on and gave them the chance to make that run that they had in the third period.

Now it's down to a best of three Stanley Cup final and so far the home teams held serve and now if the Flyers to win game five on the road because if they don't then I just don't see them winning a game seven there. If they can keep up the physical play, Leighton can keep making key saves and keep getting a little help from the refs (cue "of course they will because the NHL hates the Hawks" mindless chatter now) they have a very good shot of taking their first series lead on Sunday night.