Flyers erase 4-goal deficit but lose in Chicago

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Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (19) watch as Artemi Panarin's shot gets by Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth in the first period on Tuesday.

CHICAGO - What looked like a blowout Flyers loss turned into a thriller Tuesday night.

Trailing 4-0, the Flyers erupted for four straight goals in a dizzying 5-minute, 26-second span at the stunned United Center.

But it didn't matter.

Chicago scored three goals late in the game, including an empty-netter, and escaped with a 7-4 victory.

"That," said winger Matt Read, who keyed the comeback with a pair of goals, "was a roller-coaster game for us."

After Claude Giroux lost the puck at center ice, Artemi Panarin fed Artem Anisimov (two goals) for a tap-in with 9 minutes, 36 seconds left, giving the Blackhawks a 5-4 lead. About 51/2 minutes later, Panarin (two goals) scored on a two-on-one to make it 6-4.

"We have to keep our heads up here," Giroux said after a three-assist performance. "We came back from 4-0, and we just have to find a way to finish games off."

Read scored a power-play goal with 1:37 left in the second period, and Read (again), Sean Couturier, and Wayne Simmonds (power play) scored in the first 3:49 of the third period to tie the score at 4-4.

"I just have to keep going and keep working hard," said Read, who has three goals in the last two games and moved up to the third line Tuesday. "If you go to the right areas, the puck will find you."

Ivan Provorov's turnover contributed to the goal that gave Chicago a 6-4 lead. The 19-year-old rookie finished minus-5.

"He's going to be fine," coach Dave Hakstol said. ". . . You know what, there's five guys on the ice in all of those situations. The one or two little mistakes, those are easy to move past."

Chicago had chased goalie Michal Neuvirth (four goals on 16 shots) early in the second period and seemed in command.

"The first period, we were kind of on our heels - just not making the right plays and not supporting the puck real well," Read said. "We gave them an early lead. The second period we played better, and we played a great first 10 minutes of the third. Moved the puck well and came back, and then from there, we went back on our heels again."

Three Blackhawks struggling to score - Patrick Kane (four points), Panarin, and Marian Hossa - registered their first tallies of the season. Hossa's goal had extra significance. He became the 44th player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal plateau, beating a shaky Neuvirth on a right-circle backhander early in the second period.

The power-play goal, Chicago's second of the night, gave the hosts a 4-0 lead and sent Neuvirth to the bench in favor of Steve Mason.

The Flyers ended their season-opening road trip with a 1-1-1 record. They play their home opener Thursday against Anaheim.

Read scored with 1:37 left in the second period - the Flyers' first power play goal in eight tries this season - to cut Chicago's lead to 4-1. Read scored on a rebound after Jake Voracek's shot caromed off the end boards.

Read was on the first power-play unit because Michael Raffl suffered an upper-body injury midway through the second period and did not return. Raffl was injured when checked into the boards.

Fifty-six seconds into the game, Flyers-killer Kane gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. Neuvirth stopped Anisimov's point-blank shot, but Kane, the league's MVP last season, controlled the rebound, went around the net, and scored on a wraparound.

The Blackhawks (2-2) made it 3-0 late in the period, getting goals 48 seconds apart from Dennis Rasmussen and Panarin (power play).

Before being injured, Raffl moved to the Flyers' top power-play unit Tuesday, replacing Nick Cousins (scratched). The power play - and the lineup - will get a boost when Brayden Schenn returns from a three-game suspension Thursday.

Read, scoring for the second straight game, gave the Flyers hope by netting the first of the team's two power-play goals, triggering a third-period onslaught.

"We know we can score goals; now it's time to lock it down," Simmonds said. "We have to make sure we keep it out of the back of our net."

The Flyers erased a four-goal deficit for the first time since a 9-8 loss to Winnipeg in 2011, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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