Photo is by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images.
In the opening contest of the 2016-2017 campaign, the Flyers win their season opener Friday night in Los Angeles, 4-2. Although it took Philadelphia an entire first period to find their footing, the club reeled off four unanswered goals in the second period via route to their first win of the new season. The Flyers will have a quick turnaround, as they head to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night at 9 P.M.
The Flyers received goals from Boyd Gordon (1), Sean Couturier (1,2) and Mark Streit (1) in the winning cause. A number of players played well for the Flyers this evening and from rookies to veterans, the team turned in a quintessential road win. Travis Konecny (2 assists) and Ivan Provorov (1 assist) both had impressive debuts. The team’s bottom six forwards buckled down and grinded out the third period to preserve the lead. Michal Neuvirth was solid in goal and although the team appeared overwhelmed in the first period, they settled in nicely after that. A lot of good came of their game tonight and once they start getting players back from suspensions and injuries, this should only look better for the Flyers.
Winning goaltender Michal Neuvirth picked up right where he left off last season, turning away 22 of 24 shots in a good performance. Neuvy faced an early barrage of chances in the first period, but remained technically sound throughout the contest. Both LA goals were unstoppable for the Czech net minder, as the first one was a bullet of a shot from Kings’ star Drew Doughty, while the second goal deflected off Mark Streit and into the net.
Here’s the season opener’s final thought:
Final Thought: Ivan Provorov is mature beyond his years
If you thought people gushed about Shayne Gostisbehere last season, wait until those people see Ivan Provorov more. The 19-year-old rookie defensemen finished his debut with the third highest TOI on defense with 20:18 and added an assist to boot. Teenager or not, Provorov thinks the game in a fundamental sense better than most his age. His game was not without flaws in this one, but his ability to recover and make good decisions with the puck were on full display tonight. I’m sure Travis Konecny will deservedly grab headlines tomorrow with his outstanding vision and creativity tomorrow, but Ivan Provorov was an absolute rock on the Flyers blueline tonight.