The Philadelphia Flyers started off last night’s home opener with a fast pace and quick feet. Brayden Schenn opened up scoring during the power play late in the first period for the Flyers, grabbing the first lead of the game.
During the second period the Flyers still had a strong hold on the game, out doing the Leafs; Flyers were winning races to the puck and they were over all stronger on the puck. Halfway through the second period the Leafs gained momentum and with 3 more power play opportunities for the Flyers they lacked the ability to score during the power play. Phil Kessel picked up the rebound to score, tying the game at 1-1.
The third period began and ended with a goal by Dave Bolland, securing the lead and win for the Leafs. In between all the Leafs had to do was hold the blue line and prevent the Flyers from setting up in the offensive zone.
For the season opener it was unfortunate that the Flyers could not pull out a win for the home crowd especially when they started off with so much vigor, but there is potential. Last night was not a bad first game for the Flyers, they continue to struggle in sustaining high energy for a full 60 minute game – they start the game strong and sizzle out by the third period. The power play has potential for this team which has players with a ton of pp talent. The Flyers were only about the make the magic happen on one out of their seven power play opportunities last night. On a positive note, the new additions to the Flyers: Vincent Lecavalier and Mark Streit were looking excellent and a great additions to the team. Steve Mason was good in goal and had a few excellent saves. The Flyers consistently were out shooting the Leafs with quality scoring opportunities and 7 power plays throughout the entire game but couldn’t make the magic happen.
Against a team like the Flyers that start strong and sizzles out, the Leafs were outstanding. Jonathan Bernier kept the Leafs in the game early on during the Flyers dominance. He showed great control and skill in net. The Leafs played a consistent game and were able to take control once the Flyers defense broke down and took their foot off of the gas.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs will not face each other again until March 8, 2014 in Toronto.