The Philadelphia Flyers will try to return home with a 2-0 record as they travel to Ottawa and face former franchise icon Claude Giroux on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Giroux, 35, didn’t collect any points in the opener, but he is coming off a stellar first season with the Sens: a career-high 35 goals and 79 points in 82 games.
In three career games against the Philadelphia Flyers, Giroux has five points (two goals, three assists).
Ottawa traded right winger Alex DeBrincat (27 goals) to Detroit, but added left winger Vladimir Tarasenko, right winger Dominik Kubalik, and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo in its biggest offseason moves. The Senators are hoping the newcomers help them reach the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
Having defenseman Jacob Chychrun for a full season will also help.
In the Flyers’ win in Columbus, Carter Hart stopped 31 of 33 shots, and Travis Sanheim anchored the defense. It was Sanheim’s first game as the Philadelphia Flyers’ new No. 1 defenseman, replacing Ivan Provorov, who was traded to Columbus in the offseason.
Sanheim, who gained 15 pounds in the offseason, played a game-high 26:17 and had an assist, five shot attempts, and a plus-1 rating in the opener.
“He just wanted to take control,” coach John Tortorella said, adding he liked the way Sanheim was assertive and carried the puck. “He’s had that attitude since Day 1.”
“He was a monster,” center Sean Couturier said about Sanheim’s opening-night performance. “For years, he’s been a good player, and kind of was always in Provy’s shadow. And now he’s getting the opportunity to step into that role as the No. 1 defenseman. He was strong out there, and it’s fun to see him grow.”
Former Flyer Zack MacEwen was another offseason addition for Ottawa. … Center Ridly Greig, 21, whose father, Mark, is a Flyers amateur scout, is the Senators’ No. 2 center. … Getting Couturier and Cam Atkinson back this season has given the Flyers much more depth. “It’s a fuller bench,” Tortorella said. “There are more people I can put in different situations.” … Owen Tippett will play in his 100th game as a Flyer on Saturday, and Noah Cates will play in his 100th overall game. … Atkinson’s empty-net goal Thursday was his first point against his former team, Columbus. He now has points against all 32 teams in his career. … Korpisalo allowed five goals in the Sens’ opener.