By Annie Ross
The Flyers are a franchise that revels in living in the past.
After all, they haven’t won a Stanley Cup, emblematic of NHL supremacy, since 1975, when Madonna was 16.
And last night in Chicago, they reached back to the 1970s again, though they would rather forget the accomplishment.
Emergency starter Antti Raanta (photo above), making his first appearance since April 12, made 32 saves and notched his second career shutout – and the first by Chicago against the Flyers since Tony Esposito on Jan. 18, 1976.
And the Flyers lost 4-0.
Philly’s Steve Mason made 39 saves. He was back in net for his fifth start in six games despite being pulled after two periods in the Flyers’ come-from-behind 6-5 overtime win at Dallas on Saturday, their only victory.
The Blackhawks came out strong for the third straight game. Chicago outshot Philly 19-9 in the first and connected on three of five shots during a flurry late in the period
Saad opened the scoring 11:54 in. Mason made flashy close-in saves on Saad and Richards, but then Saad outmuscled the Flyers Michael Del Zotto to the net and tucked in a loose puck from the goal line after Richards centered it.
Kane made it 2-0 with a power-play score 32 seconds later. He swatted in the puck from the left side of the net after Patrick Sharp’s shot from the blue line caromed off the back boards.
Set up by Saad’s cross-ice pass, Bickell extended the lead to 3-0 with 6:00 left in the period when motored down the slot and ripped a shot over Mason’s shoulder.
Raanta was most heavily tested in the second period, when he turned aside 10 shots, and late in the third during a Flyers’ power play.
Kane added his second power-play goal from a goalmouth scrum at 3:50 of the third to complete the scoring.
Raanta came up with a shoulder save on Jakub Voracek with 6:30 left to preserve the shutout.