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Pro Hockey

Top lines are regrouping for Flyers, Blackhawks

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 03:07 AM
CHICAGO -

More startling than the frenetic pace between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers that produced 11 goals in the Stanley Cup finals opener was who was left off the score sheet.

In Chicago's 6-5 win - the highest scoring championship-round game since 1992 - both teams' top lines and top guns couldn't find the net. They went pointless.

So what will happen if Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien get going for the Blackhawks, and if Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne find their rhythm for the Flyers? Could it be 11-10 in Game 2 tonight?

Most likely not.

"I thought we had good looks. We just didn't score and did everything but," Richards said Sunday.

"I think all three of us know it's not as much what they did as it was what we didn't do on the ice," Toews said.

During Sunday's off day, both teams stressed tightening up the defense, reducing giveaways and doing a better job of clearing pucks out of the defensive end to make it easier on their goaltenders.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette wouldn't reveal if he was sticking with Michael Leighton, who was pulled after yielding five goals in Game 1, or going back to Brian Boucher.

Leighton entered the game with a 6-1 record with three shutouts but was yanked in the second period after giving up the five goals on just 20 shots.

"Obviously I'd be disappointed," Leighton said when asked how he would feel if he didn't get the nod. "We're in the Stanley Cup final. That's not the time to be mad at someone."

Toews, who leads with 26 playoff points, was a minus-3 and recorded only one shot in Game 1. Kane, with 20 points, was also minus-3 with just two shots. Byfuglien, the 257-pound forward who plays like a linebacker, was minus-3 with nothing to show offensively after scoring eight goals - four game-winners - entering the finals. He also had just two shots.

"We maybe were chasing the puck a little bit too much and weren't protecting it and weren't supporting each other. As a line we got to simplify things," Toews said.

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