The Philadelphia Flyers opened their season with a victory on Thursday night. Defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
After the Flyers third preseason game, associate head coach Brad Shaw took the mic after the game for his post-game press conference. Shaw made it a point to talk about the Flyers 2nd period
“Second periods are reflections of good teams,” Shaw said postgame on Sept 28. That night, the Flyers gave up two-goals to the Washington Capitals in the 2nd period.
Shaw added “the teams that are feeling like they are up at the upper echelon, they tend to have good second periods, and if we want to become a good team, we have to clean up our second periods.”
In the eight days in the lead-up to the season, the Flyers worked hard on implementing systems to fix their 2nd period woes. Which was a major problem with last year’s team.
Tonight, in their first officially game under new head coach John Tortorella, the 2nd period was different.
The Flyers dominated the Devils in the 2nd period. Scoring twice in a span of 23-seconds just after the midway point of the period.
Travis Konecny fired home a wrist shot on the rush for the first goal. Kevin Hayes made a skillful play at the blue-line to stay onside & feed Konecny in the middle who beat Mackenzie Blackwood high over the glove.
Just 23-seconds later, Morgan Frost would rip a wrist shot to the far post. Tanner Laczynski would send a no-look pass from behind the net to Frost who beat Mackenzie Blackwood far side.
The Flyers focused on improving their 2nd periods with a heavy focus on conditioning during training camp. Something that was a focus for head coach John Tortorella.
After all those long skates, extra suicide skates, & establishing a will to finish, the Flyers shined in their first 2nd period of the season.
Flyers Youth Powers The Team
One constant throughout the process of the preseason has been the Flyers youth. Which, in game 1 tonight, featured nine-players 25-years-old or younger.
As the final horn sounded, it was the youth who were the standouts.
All five Flyers goals tonight were scored by players 25 or younger. Wade Allison got the scoring started in the 1st period. Travis Konecny & Morgan Frost scored their firsts of the night in the 2nd period. Both Konecny & Frost added their second goals of the night in the 3rd period.
But, it did not stop there.
Ivan Provorov had two assists and Tanner Laczynski added an assist as well.
Travis Sanheim Extended For 8-Years
About two-hours before puck drop, the Philadelphia Flyers broke some news. News surrounding defenseman Travis Sanheim.
Sanheim, who was drafted by the Flyers in 2014, agreed to an 8-year $50M ($6.25M) extension with the Flyers. An extension that will keep Sanheim in Philadelphia for the next nine-seasons.
Last season, arguably his best season of his five year NHL career, Sanheim finished with 7-goals & 24-assists in 80-games with the Flyers. Including a team high +9 rating.
With his new contract signed, Sanheim played 21:13 on opening night. Finishing a +1.
- Owen Tippett suffered an injury during the final seconds of the 1st period. Tippett did not return to the game. Head coach John Tortorella did not have an update on Tippett postgame.
- Carter Hart did not get a preseason game due to a nagging injury. In Hart’s first appearance of the season, Hart stopped 35 of the 37 Devils shots fired his way. Including 33 of the last 34 shots fired his way after giving up a goal in the 1st period.
- Travis Konecny looked like the old Travis Konecny tonight. Skating free & taking every shot that he could. Konecny led the Flyers in shots with four shots on goal. Two of which found the back of the net.
- In his Flyers debut, Tony DeAngelo made his mark instantly. DeAngelo led the Flyers in ice time, +/- (+3), and registered two assists on the night. His defense also was a bright spot as DeAngelo blocked three shots.
- The Flyers are trying to establish a physical and hard to playing against identity. In a physical first game, the Flyers outhit the Devils 28-18. Ivan Provorov led the Flyers with 5-hits.
Result : Devils 2 – Flyers 5 , WIN
Record : 1 – 0 – 0
Next Game : Saturday 10/15 Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia PA, 4:00pm
PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Nwachukwu – Getty Images
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