CHICAGO -- Fans rose to their feet during a break in the opening period to salute Ray Emery on the goaltender's return to the United Center.
The Blackhawks then welcomed their former teammate the way they know best, with a flurry of goals that left Emery and the Flyers dazed during a 7-2 pounding Wednesday night that gave the defending Stanley Cup champions their third consecutive victory.
Emery, who departed the Hawks as a free agent after helping them win the 2013 Cup, didn't acknowledge the ovation in the first, nor did he when the crowd of 21,144 was again on its feet as he left the ice after being yanked early in the third after yielding six goals on 18 shots.
"It was a tough night for Ray," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "Sometimes that happens. We knew coming into (Wednesday night) what type of goaltender he is and how competitive he is and when you're up against a good goaltender like that you have to try to make things difficult on him.
"We had some deflections, we had traffic (and) we had some tricky goals in tight. Most of the time there wasn't much he could do about it."
In addition to Toews' score that capped a five-goal outburst in the second to end any doubt of the outcome, Patrick Sharp had a goal and two assists, Michal Handzus and Kris Versteeg each a goal and an assist while Andrew Shaw, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook all found the back of the net to help make a winner of goalie Antti Raanta. Marian Hossa added three assists and Patrick Kane two as the offense continues to be on fire with a combined 19 goals during their three-game streak.
The Hawks rode some strong special teams play against the Flyers to improve to 23-6-5 and now lead the NHL with 23 victories and 51 points. Two scores on the power play and another while short-handed paved the way to the latest triumph.
"Our power play is playing great," said Handzus, who scored the 17th short-handed goal of his career for the game-winner. "They're scoring goals so that helps a lot. It relieves the pressure. We got some good bounces (Wednesday night) but we were pretty much in sync."
Jakub Voracek and Steve Downie scored for the Flyers but other than a solid first 20 minutes, Philadelphia was never in it as it concluded a six-game trip.
"Pucks were kind of bouncing around a bit but you can't make excuses," Emery said."As a whole, we have to play better in the second."
Raanta made 28 saves to improve to 5-0-1 as he adjusts to life as the No. 1 goaltender with Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin sidelined with injuries. During the rookie's five victories, the Hawks have scored 27 goals to ease the transition.
"They've gone in the last three games and I thought (Wednesday) was kind of comparable to the last few games," coach Joel Quenneville said. "The quality probably wasn't there, but they managed to go in."
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