Simmonds cashes in twice and Elliott shines in Flyers scintillating season opener

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Philadelphia Flyers vs.

Vegas Golden Knights

October 4th, 2018 – 10:00PM EST

The Philadelphia Flyers showed how much they’ve grown this summer by winning their 3rd straight season opener in convincing fashion. Wayne Simmonds brought his goal count to 5 in season openers over the past two seasons and 11 of 18 Flyers found themselves with points on the scorecard. Brian Elliott played lights out in one of his most impressive starts in Orange and Black, bailing his teammates out on multiple odd man rushes. Elliott and a combined 12 blocked shots allowed the Flyers offense all the breathing room they needed to gain a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Vegas fought back valiantly in the third but only managed to pot one goal in the final frame. The Flyers start the season undefeated with the 5-2 victory in Nevada.

Takeaways:

PROS:

Balanced lines giving Philadelphia a great chance to score on any combination.

Bottom six stepped up with the top 2 lines not playing their best hockey for much of the game.

Brian Elliott looks incredible.

JVR-Vorobyev-Simmonds line looking in sync from the puck drop.

Flyers young guns played solid, keeping giveaways to a minimum.

Hits! Philadelphia outhit Vegas 41-31 in a physical battle.

CONS:

Defense leaving their assignments and allowing too many odd man rushes.

Travis Sanheim not being utilized as much as he should, slotting in as the Flyers 6th D-man in terms of time on ice.

Gritty was disrespected on the big screen. Not cool.

Lineup:

Giroux – Couturier – Konecny

Lindblom – Patrick – Voracek

van Riemsdyk – Vorobyev – Simmonds

Laughton – Lehtera – Raffl

Provorov – Gostisbehere

Sanheim – Gudas

Hagg – MacDonald

Elliott

Stolarz

1st Period

The Flyers started this period on their heels early on. Multiple early turnovers lead to some big chances for VGK, eventually leading to Marchessault scoring 6:37 into the 1st. After the first ten minutes though, it was all Philadelphia. With 11:52 remaining, JVR took the Flyers first penalty of the season for tripping. Oskar Lindblom scored on a beautiful odd man rush after being sprung by Jake Voracek and Travis Sanheim with 8:37 left in the 1st. Brian Elliott was strong for much of this period after facing a plethora of quality chances from the Knights. Turned away multiple odd man rushes throughout. Flyers took the lead 18:43 into the period on Simmonds goal from inside the blue paint off a Hagg shot.

2nd Period

Erik Haula gave the Flyers their first powerplay of the season after slashing Voracek just 1:33 into the 2nd. Wayne Simmonds made it 3-1 in a hurry on the ensuing man advantage after some pretty tic-tac-toe passing from Giroux and Voracek. The Flyers had Vegas on the ropes from the start of the period and scored two more in a span of 1:06, Hagg at 6:11 and Laughton at 7:17. Subban replaced Fleury halfway through the period. Not completely Fleury’s fault given that his defense hung him out to dry for almost 20 full minutes prior to him being pulled. The Golden Knights gained some momentum but also found themselves on the penalty kill after taking the intensity a little too far. Pacioretty went to the box with 6:23 remaining in the 2nd for unsportsmanlike conduct after getting physical with MacDonald. Brian Elliott continued to stand on his head through the end of the 2nd period. Flyers led 18-17 in shots through the first two periods.

 

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3rd Period

Gudas and MacDonald take back-to-back penalties, holding and interference respectively, just over 2 minutes into the 3rd. The Flyers survive the 5-on-3 and go on the powerplay quickly thereafter with a holding call on Eric Haula. Flyers got back to back PP chances after William Karlsson took a boarding penalty with 12:35 remaining but Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored a shorthanded goal on the ensuing kill. Gostisbehere turned the puck over in the neutral zone and PEB made the most of his breakaway chance making it 5-2 Philadelphia 8:28 into the 3rd. Flyers held onto the lead and survived a strong push from the VGK offense to secure the season opening victory.

Head-to-Head Stats:

Goals:

PHI: Linblom, Simmonds(2), Hagg, Laughton

VGK: Marchessault, Bellemare

Shots:

PHI: 25

VGK: 25

Hits:

PHI: 41

VGK: 31

PIM:

PHI: 8

VGK: 10

PP:

PHI: 1/4

VGK: 0/3

FO%:

PHI: 51.8

VGK: 48.2

FINAL: 5-2 Philadelphia Flyers

 

Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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