NHL on NBCSN: Flyers face early test in ‘Hawks

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Chicago Blackhawks at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

Five years is an eternity in the NHL.

Chicago and Philadelphia met in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, but the teams that play tonight will feature significantly different rosters. Not everything has changed though.

While the supporting cast might be very different, Chicago’s core is still largely intact and just as effective as it was in 2010 when the Blackhawks claimed their first of three championships over the last six seasons. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has endured a much less flattering road since finishing a mere two wins shy of the Cup, but there has been a constant: Whenever Chicago visits, the Flyers collect two points.

Chicago hasn’t beaten the Flyers in Philadelphia in a regular season game since 1996, giving the Flyers an 11-0 record over that span, per CSN Philly.

Continuing that trend would be a big confidence booster for Philadelphia. In conjunction with the Flyers’ respectable showing against the Tampa Bay Lightning and their 1-0 win over Florida on Monday, a victory tonight would make Philadelphia’s embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Panthers on Saturday look more like an outlier than an omen.

“They come in on top and it’s another good test,” Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds said of Chicago. “We had a chance to play the Tampa Bay Lightning and I thought we put a good effort. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the two points.

“Now we’ve got a team that beat Tampa Bay in the Final. We’ve got a lot to prove here, a lot to show.”

The Blackhawks are heading into this game with a 2-1-0 record after taking both halves of their home-and-home series against the New York Islanders. Patrick Kane and KHL star turned NHL rookie Artemi Panarin have proven to be an effective duo as they’ve been leading the charge for Chicago with six and four points respectively.

They’ll try to push Chicago’s streak to three wins, providing the team with some momentum going into its games against Washington on Thursday and Columbus on Saturday.