By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The puck drops in Las Vegas as the Fly Guys look to open the season on the right foot. With many questions surrounding the Flyers, can they prove the doubters wrong and beat the house in Vegas?
First period: The hot crowd was cooled off thanks to an offsides call just 13 seconds in, but it didn’t take long for the home team to spark the fire again as they had a montage of scoring chances early. Vegas capitalized with a goal by Marchessault while the Flyers were going for a line change. It didn’t take long for the Flyers to answer back however, as Sanheim would carry the puck into the zone and find Lindblom who dangled around Fleury for the Flyers first goal of the season. The Flyers would again hold off another wave of Vegas’ offense and would take the lead thanks to a Wayne Simmonds tap in after Hagg’s original shot didn’t cross the goal line.
Second period: Haula opened the period with a penalty and the Flyers new-look Powerplay got to go to work. They immediatly set up and topped it off with a Simmonds goal, his second of the night. The Fly Guys would keep rolling with two goals in 1:06 as Hagg buried a great pass from Van Reimsdyk, then Laughton would redirect a Gudas point shot to increase the lead to four. Vegas hit their second post of the game thanks to a Provorov turnover, but even after a late push, Elliott stood tall to end the second period 5-1.
Third period: The Flyers quickly found themselves down two men as Gudas was called for holding, then MacDonald was called for tripping. Luckily they managed to kill off the 1:18 of 5-on-3, but failed to capitalize on two powerplays of their own. The Knights would score their last goal of the night while shorthanded after Gostisbehere too a stick between the legs forcing a turnover and Bellemare buried it. Elliott would stand tall for a total of 23 saves as they dominated the Golden Knights on opening night.
Takeaways: This was a solid all around effort by the Flyers. Their offensive depth was on display and more importantly the goaltending held up as Elliott didn’t show much rust in this one.
Three stars of the game:
3) Jake Voracek
2) Wayne Simmonds
1) Brian Elliott
VGK: Marchessault (Merrill, Fleury)
PHI: Lindblom (Sanheim, Voracek)
PHI: Simmonds (Hagg)
PHI: Simmonds (Giroux, Voracek)
PHI: Hagg (van Riemsdyk, Vorobyev)
PHI: Laughton (Gudas, Raffl)
photo credit: zimbio.com