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Flyers steamroll Penguins to open season

The Philadelphia Flyers got a good fight from the Pittsburgh Penguins in South Philadelphia on Wednesday night, but eventually flexed their muscles in the third period to run away with a season-opening win.

Joel Farabee registered a four-point night while six different Flyers scored goals in a 6-3 beatdown of the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center. Carter Hart finished with 24 saves as the Orange and Black claimed their first victory of 2021.

Pittsburgh struck first with Mark Jankowski beating Carter Hart in the opening five minutes off the crossbar. It was Jankowski’s first NHL goal, which gave the visitors an early lead at Wells Fargo Center.

However the Flyers made the most of their power play opportunities later in the period, rebounding to take a 2-1 advantage. First, James Van Riemsdyk redirected Erik Gustafsson’s shot past Tristan Jarry with under five minutes left before Nolan Patrick also redirected a Gustafsson effort past Jarry to put the hosts in front.

It was Patrick’s first goal since March 2019 for the Flyers and Gustafsson’s first assists since joining the team as a free agent.

Sidney Crosby made Hart pay early in the second period after the third-year goaltender made an error trying to clear the puck. Hart’s effort was hacked down by Crosby in front of goal before the Penguins captain scored into an empty net to tie things at 2-2.

The Flyers would snatch the lead against just before the second intermission with Joel Farabee dancing in front of goal before sliding a shot underneath Jarry’s pad. It was Farabee’s third point of the night after assisting on both of the opening goals.

Brandon Tanev wasted little time answering for the Penguins in the third period by scoring a screamer of a wrist shot goal. Tanev roofed a shot past Hart to make it 3-3 and hit back for the second time for Pittsburgh.

The Flyers continued to grit their way towards a victory and got a great connection between Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl to snatch the lead for good. After seeing an attack all but fizzle out, Laughton quickly raced to a loose puck and hit a streaking Raffl who scored from point-blank range.

Pittsburgh tried to get back into the game, but it was all Orange and Black for the remainder of the game. Travis Konecny was originally credited with the Flyers’ fifth goal, but it was corrected and is now credited to Oskar Lindblom, with assists to Konency and Sean Couturier. Kevin Hayes added his first goal of the new season to ice the final score at 6-3.

The Flyers return to play on Friday back at home against Pittsburgh.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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