By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
As expected, the Vegas Golden Knights came out of the gate firing. The Flyers looked a step behind throughout the first 10 minutes. But the momentum shifted with a goal to even things back up at one and the Flyers were off and running from there.
Two goals in the final nine minutes of the first and three in the early stages of the second set the Flyers on their way to a season-opening victory by a score of 5-2 over the Golden Knights on Thursday night.
Vegas came out with tons of energy and speed, keeping the Flyers on their heels early. They turned that into the game's first goal at 6:37.
Catching the Flyers in a change, Jonathan Marchessault streaked up the wing with the puck and fired a shot to the blocker side on Brian Elliott to put Vegas up 1-0.
The Flyers started to find their legs halfway through the period and got the game tied shortly after. Jake Voracek made a lead pass to Travis Sanheim on a rush. Sanheim set up Oskar Lindblom for a partial breakaway and he was able to out-wait Marc-Andre Fleury with a nice move to the backhand and slip the puck past him and off the skate of defenseman Nick Holden to tie the game with the Flyers first goal of the season.
The Flyers struck again late in the period on another goal from inside the blue paint. Robert Hagg took a shot that slipped past Fleury and rolled toward the line. Oscar Lindberg was able to keep the puck out, but Wayne Simmonds was there to knock it back in to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
After being outshot 6-2 early in the period, the Flyers came back to hold a 9-8 lead in shots after 20 minutes.
The second period was all Flyers at the start. An early power play gave them a chance to pad the lead and they didn't waste it.
Tomas Nosek broke his stick, giving the Flyers a virtual 5-on-3. Quick passing took care of the rest, as Claude Giroux started a tic-tac-toe passing play that ended with Simmonds at the side of net jamming in his second goal of the game.
The Flyers scored again at 6:11 of the period, with Hagg finishing off a nice setup from James van Riemsdyk. Just 1:06 later, the fourth line got in on the scoring barrage, as Scott Laughton deflected a Radko Gudas shot past Fleury to make it 5-1.
Vegas pushed back in the later stages of the second period, having one chance hit the crossbar, but Elliott stood tall in net. After facing just two shots in the first 10 minutes of the period, he stopped seven more down the stretch to hold the four-goal lead.
The Flyers led in shots, 18-17, after two periods.
The Flyers survived an early push from the Golden Knights, which included killing off a 5-on-3 for 1:18. They failed to score on two power play chances in the period and let Vegas slip a little bit closer with a goal while shorthanded.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare intercepted a pass from Shayne Gostisbehere, who was slashed as he tried to move up ice. Bellemare was able to move around Vorobyev as the last man back and beat Elliott with a nice move, cutting the lead to three.
That was as close as Vegas would get as the Flyers finished off the victory. Elliott made 23 saves in the win. Fleury stopped just 11 of 16 shots before being removed for Malcolm Subban, who stopped the final nine shots from the Flyers.
Voracek finished the game with a pair of assists, including the 400th of his career. Giroux's assist on Simmonds' power-play goal moved him into third all-time on the Flyers franchise list. van Riemsdyk picked up an assist for his 100th point as a Flyer. Hagg's two-point night was the first multi-point game of his career.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Saturday night in Colorado to face the Avalanche. Game time is at 9 p.m.