(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks hope to continue a strong month when they visit the struggling Philadelphia Flyers in Kimmo Timonen's return to Wells Fargo Center.
The Blackhawks own a 7-1-1 record this month and all nine games during the stretch have come with Timonen in the lineup. The ex-Flyers defenseman didn't suit up at all for Philadelphia this season due to blood clot issues, but was traded to Chicago on Feb. 27 for a 2015 second-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round selection in 2016.
The 40-year-old Timonen, who plans to retire after this season, has yet to register a point with Chicago and is averaging 12 minutes, 27 minutes of ice time over his nine games this season. Timonen ranks third all-time among Flyers defenseman with 270 points on 38 goals and 232 assists over 519 games.
"He's going to get a standing ovation because he obviously deserves it," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said of Timonen. "It's good for him that he's going to get a shot at Stanley Cup for the person he is and the player he is."
This will likely mark Timonen's last game in Philadelphia, as his former team's playoff run has almost run out of gas. The Flyers are 11 points out of the East's final postseason berth with only eight games left.
Chicago, meanwhile, is third in the Central Division with 94 points, giving the club a three-point lead over Minnesota for the third postseason berth from the Central Division. The Blackhawks are four behind Nashville for second place and five in back of division-leading St. Louis.
The Blackhawks have recorded wins in five of their last six games. The lone setback in that run came in Saturday's 4-0 loss in Dallas, but they bounced back Monday at Carolina with a 3-1 decision.
Chicago didn't put forth its best effort in Raleigh, but Corey Crawford was able to steal the two points. The Blackhawks goaltender made 43 saves, 15 in the third period, to backstop his team to the win over the Hurricanes.
Andrew Shaw opened the scoring and added an empty-net goal for Chicago.
Two personal milestones were reached by members of the Blackhawks. Captain Jonathan Toews picked up the 500th point of his career with an assist on Shaw's second tally with 40 seconds remaining, and Joel Quenneville earned his 750th win as a head coach.
The Blackhawks led 2-0 after the first period, thanks to goals from Shaw and Patrick Sharp. However, Carolina cut the deficit in half early in the second period, but Crawford was able to keep the 'Canes off the boards the rest of the way. He stopped 18-of-19 shots in the second period alone.
"We always go into the third period with a one-goal lead thinking we're going to keep working and keep checking and trying to key off the other team's offensive mistakes," Toews said. "But we had some great goaltending by Crawford. It was a huge reason we snuck that one out."
The victory pushed Chicago to 22-13-1 as the guest before it closes a four- game road trip tonight.
The Flyers have lost four straight games and have seen their postseason chances fall to pieces with a 2-4-5 record in March. Philadelphia last played on Saturday, when it closed a four-game swing with a 5-4 overtime loss in Edmonton.
Claude Giroux scored twice, Voracek supplied three assists, while Michael Raffl and Ryan White also provided offense for Philadelphia.
"They had some nice plays and when they had a chance to put it in, they did," said Giroux.
Ray Emery made 29 stops in a surprise start after Steve Mason skated off the ice during pre-game warmups with an illness. Mason could be back in the crease tonight.
The Flyers are likely happy to be home after losing for a ninth straight time on the road on Saturday. It's the longest away slide for Philly since an 0-8-2 stretch during the 1991-92 campaign.
Philadelphia will play tonight's game and Saturday's home test versus the Sharks before heading back out on a two-game swing. The Flyers are 20-9-6 as the host this season compared to a 9-20-10 mark on the road.
Chicago has won two of the last three meetings versus the Flyers, but hasn't won a regular-season game in the City of Brotherly Love since Nov. 9, 1996, dropping 10 straight on the road in this series.
The Blackhawks, of course, clinched their 2010 Stanley Cup title in Philadelphia with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 6.