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Flyers at Kings recap: Flyers open up season with win, Travis Konecny cements status as the world’s greatest human being

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The Flyers used an outstanding — and fun! — second period to cruise their way to a season-opening win.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

There are a lot of things you’re usually hoping to see when you watch your favorite team begin their season, but for Flyers fans on this night, there were likely two things in particular they were looking for as they watched the orange and black take the ice against the Los Angeles Kings: a win, and strong performances from their two prized rookies making their NHL debut.

Check, and check.

A four-goal second period saw the Flyers jump out to a lead that they’d never relinquish, as they beat one of the West’s best by a final score of 4-2 and did so in a way that will only further excite this fanbase.

The Flyers’ first period of the season was not exactly them getting off to the fastest start, as it became apparent pretty quickly that the Kings’ full lineup would provide a bit more of a challenge than the teams the Flyers had skated against in the preseason. L.A.’s quick forecheck proved to be a bit much for the Flyers, who needed 13:08 to get their first shot on goal of the contest and were outshot 10-4 in the period as a whole.

Still, it was the Flyers who would get the best chance of the period. Following a penalty by Andy Andreoff for boarding Travis Konecny, it was Konecny himself who’d thread a pass to Mark Streit beside the net. Streit, however, was denied the first goal of the Flyers’ season by way of Jeff Zatkoff’s glove.

With that, both teams would head to the first locker room scoreless. And then a lot of things happened.

Just under four minutes into the second period, the Flyers managed to strike first and pick up their first goal of the season in the process. Was it one of the team’s star forwards? Was it Shayne Gostisbehere from the point? Was it Konecny or Ivan Provorov, the aforementioned star rookies?

No, obviously, it was fourth-line center Boyd Gordon, he of two goals last season, off of a great pass by Nick Cousins.

If you had Boyd Gordon down as your guess for “person to score the first goal of the Flyers’ season”, you’re quite the human being.

But with due respect to Mr. Gordon, the fun really began a couple of shifts later — because that’s when this game became the Travis Konecny And Sean Couturier show.

Konecny’s first NHL point would come less than a minute after the Flyers’ first goal, as Zatkoff would let up a juicy rebound on a long shot from the rookie and Couturier would make no mistake in slamming it home.

And later in the period, the two would hook up yet again for a goal, this time via a wonderful move and pass by the rookie:

But there was more! The youth movement continued! Streit would atone for his near-miss in the first by burying a chance down low, and it was set up by a shot wide from none other than Ivan Provorov, who collected his first NHL point on the play.

The Kings would get one back before the period came to a close, but the damage was already done. A period that saw the Flyers outscore the Kings 4-1, outshoot them 21-9(!), and outskate them up and down the ice gave the road team all they’d need to close this game out.

An early goal by Brayden McNabb in the third made things interesting for a bit, but the Flyers were able to largely slow the Kings down in the final frame, killing a penalty, playing sound defensive hockey, and getting strong goaltending from Michal Neuvirth en route to their first win of the season.

OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED:

  • Again, the big story of the night was the Konecny-Couturier-Voracek line, which looked every bit as electric as it did in the preseason. Konecny at no point looked out of place against actual NHLers at actual NHL speed, and even more than the outcome of the game itself, that’s maybe the most encouraging thing we saw tonight.
  • Ivan Provorov also played tonight! His assist on Streit’s goal was the highlight, but he steadily improved as the game went on. He had a rough first period in which he misplayed the puck and even turned it over a couple of times, but it seemed like he was just fine by the time the second period rolled around, making the kind of low-key but helpful plays we’ve already grown accustomed to his making. Certainly an encouraging first 20:18 of NHL action for him.
  • Shayne Gostisbehere almost got his face sliced open about two minutes into the game, but he’d manage to only end up with a big cut on his face. Thankful that this didn’t end up a lot worse.
  • Michal Neuvirth was good! Made a few nice saves in the first to keep it 0-0 while the Flyers were finding their game, and tough to fault him on either of the two goals — a screened point shot from Doughty and another point shot that bounced off of Mark Streit’s stick. Steve Mason will presumably start tomorrow in Arizona, but Neuvirth’s opening argument for more playing time went fairly well.

Comment of the Night:

So I guess we better give Giroux some more defensive zone draws to free Gordon up to score

agam22

Observations will be up in the morning can be found here. Flyers are back at it in Arizona tomorrow night at 9:00. 1-0 and it feels wonderful. Go Flyers. Now get to bed, people.