The Blackhawks edged the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 in game one of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals at the United Center on Tomas Kopecky’s goal at 8:25 of the third period which snapped a 5-5 tie.It was also the only tally of the third period tally after each team scored five over the first two periods. For a Stanley Cup Finals game,the two starting goalies, Antti Niemi of the Blackhawks and Michael Leighton of Philadelphia looked more like sieves through the first two periods. This was a high flying,high scoring first fourty minutes,not unlike NHL Allstar Games in which goaltenders are sitting ducks. The Flyers struke first when Ville Leino scored off a Danny Briere feed in close at 6:38.The Blackhawks answered fast at 7:46 when Troy Brouwer tapped in a Marian Hossa shot to tie it up. Dave Bolland gave the Hawks their first lead at 11:50 when he stole a pass at center ice while Patrick Kane was serving a questionable slashing penalty,skated in alone and beat Leighton top shelf at 11:50. But Dan O’Halloran sent off Brian Campbell for high sticking at 15:51 and the Flyers converted on the power play when Scott Hartnell tipped in a rebound of a Chris Pronger shot to tie it. When it looked like the first period would end in a tie, the Hawks got sloppy in their end and Leino got it to Briere who put on inside the left post at 19:33 and Philly led 3-2 after one with a 17-9 shots on goal edge, much in part due to having three power plays to none for the Hawks.The second period was dominated by the Blackhawks even thought the only penalty was called on Adam Burish for boardi ng at 4:49,but by that time Patrick Sharp had tied the game against his old team off a Brouwer pass at 1:11.The Flyers regained the lead at 7:20 when Blair Betts scored his first of the playoffs,but again the Hawks had an answer. Kris Versteeg tied it at 9:31 by rebounding a Tomas Kopecky shot and Brouwer put the Hawks ahead 5-4 after a great individual play behind the net by Kopecky who centered for the tip in at 15:18 and that was the end of Leighton’s evening as Brian Boucher replaced him. The Flyers tied it at 18:49 on a goal by Aaron Asham.The Hawks outshot the Flyers 15-9 in the second period. The game winner by Brouwer was the only goal Boucher gave up,but it was the biggest of the game.
NOTES—The sellout of 22,312 was the Hawks 100th straight United Center sellout…..Referees O’Halloran and Bill McCreary called four minor penalties on the Hawks and no penalties on Philadelphia…..Shots on goal were deadlocked at 32-32….The last time the Hawks LED in a Stanley Cup Finals was in 1971 against Montreal when they were up three games to two before losing the series in seven games. They never had the lead against the Habs in 1973 and got swept by Pittsburgh in 1992.