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Flyers Notes: Tortorella Likes Effort, ‘We Played Our Ass Off’ Before Big Crowd

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Philadelphia Flyers, celebrate
The Flyers congratulate goalie Carter Hart, who was strong in their 5-2 opening-night win Thursday over New Jersey.

The Flyers were missing their best center (Sean Couturier), their top right winger (Cam Atkinson), and arguably their No. 1 defenseman (Ryan Ellis) in Thursday’s opener against the Devils.

Oh, and Owen Tippett, who became their No. 2 right winger with Atkinson sidelined, was injured in the first period and did not return.

No matter. They still whipped the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, before a loud crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I thought we played our ass off,” John Tortorella said after collecting his first win as the Philadelphia Flyers coach.”We played hard. Do we have to clean some things up? Yes. If we can just stay with that type of effort,” he will be happy.

Fans show up

The Flyers had their lowest per-game attendance (16,541) in nearly 50 years last season.

But an animated crowd watched Thursday’s win, and there were 19,107 paying customers.  For one night, at least, Tortorella and his young players were a draw. The capacity is 19,600 for hockey.

Second-period progress

The Philadelphia Flyers’ second periods were abysmal last season and in this year’s exhibition games. On Thursday, they took control of the game in the second period after a pair of jarring hits from Nick Deslauriers.

“I do think we took a step in that second period when it looked like it was going away from us,” Tortorella said. “We came back. Those are important processes for a team that has struggled and it has been talked about ad nauseam here as far as second periods. A lot of good things, but they played hard. It’s a find-a-way league.”

They found a way in the second, outscoring the Devils, 2-0, and taking control of the game.

Finding out what you have

All five Flyers goals were scored by players 25 and under.

“Listen, we want to win,” Tortorella said. “I don’ want to do something wrong, but I also have to look further down the road in developing people. That’s the catch, and I thought they gave us some good minutes. I’m going to give them an opportunity. I have to. I have to find out about players in certain situations, so hopefully they grow.”

Numbers Dept.

  • Travis Konecny became the second player in franchise history to have two or more multiple-goal games in an opener. Hall of Fame left winger Bill Barber did it three times — in 1980, 1981, and 1982.
  • The Flyers have earned a point in their last eight openers, going 6-0-2 in that span. That’s the longest active streak of season-opening games with points, per the NHL.
  • The Flyers improved to 31-17-7 in home openers.
  • Ivan Provorov tied a franchise record for blocks in a game (10) by a defenseman. He had done it twice, and Andrew MacDonald did it in a 2016 game.
  • Morgan Frost’s two goal game was the first of his career. His second goal was an empty-netter.

Up next: Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks come to Philly for Saturday’s 4 p.m. matchup.

In Vancouver’s season-opening 5-3 loss in Edmonton, the Canucks blew a 3-0 lead. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for the Canucks.

Vancouver was just 1 for 8 on the power play.

Classy Mike Yeo, the Flyers’ interim coach for most of last season, is a Vancouver assistant. He was at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, scouting the Flyers.

Breakaways

The Flyers practice in Voorhees on Friday at noon. … The Flyers outhit the Devils, 28-18. New Jersey won 61% of the faceoffs.

PHN: Tony DeAngelo Had 200 Members of His Italian ‘Family’ at Opening-Night Win

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