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Blackhawks Beat Flyers 7-4 to Close in on Stanley Cup Title

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June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Dustin Byfuglien got his first goals of the Stanley Cup final to help move the Chicago Blackhawks within one win of the National Hockey League’s championship.

The Blackhawks, who opened the series with back-to-back home wins, rebounded from two straight away defeats to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 at the United Center in Chicago and take a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven series.

“We had to come back with some fire and get on them and show them we weren’t going to quit,” Byfuglien told reporters. “Right from the get-go we moved our feet and were physical.”

Chicago can wrap up the series on June 9 with a win at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The Blackhawks are 8-3 away from home in the playoffs, while the Flyers have a 9-1 postseason record at home. A deciding seventh game, if needed, is scheduled for June 11 at Chicago.

The Blackhawks haven’t won the title since 1961, while the Flyers are seeking their first NHL championship since the “Broad Street Bullies” won two straight in 1974-75.

Chicago’s Brent Seabrook got the opening goal on a power play after 12 minutes, 17 seconds last night. Dave Bolland doubled the advantage three minutes later and Kris Versteeg made it 3-0 after another three minutes of play.

Scott Hartnell got his sixth goal of the playoffs 32 seconds into the second period to cut the Flyers’ deficit to two goals and Chicago’s Patrick Kane made it 4-1 less than three minutes later. Kimmo Timonen got Philadelphia’s second goal 1:25 later and Byfuglien scored his first after 15:45 to make it 5-2 at the end of the second period.

Final Period

The Flyers pulled within 5-3 in the third period through James van Riemsdyk and 10 minutes later Patrick Sharp made it 6-3. With 2:36 to play, Simon Gagne got Philadelphia’s fourth goal and Byfuglien, who also collected two assists, completed the scoring with just over two minutes remaining.

Chicago goalie Antti Niemi had 23 saves while Brian Boucher had 11 for Philadelphia before being replaced by Michael Leighton, who conceded the last three goals.

Chicago reached the championship series after sweeping the top-seeded San Jose Sharks to become the Western Conference champion. The Blackhawks haven’t played for the Stanley Cup since 1992, when they lost to Pittsburgh.

The Flyers entered the playoffs ranked No. 7 of eight teams in the Eastern Conference after earning a berth on the final day of the regular season. Philadelphia ousted the Montreal Canadiens in five games to reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1997. Against the Boston Bruins in the second round, they became the first team in 35 years to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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