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Oct 4, 2019, 3:07:00 PM

Flyers edge out Blackhawks

Travis Konecny was the main scorer for the Philadelphia Flyers in their opening NHL game of the season, finding the net twice to give the Flyers a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Sports betting companies found it hard to separate these two teams when setting their odds for this game, which took place at the O2 Arena in Prague, and that assessment proved to be justified as they played out an enthralling game as part of the 2019 Global Series.

In addition to Konecny’s two goals, Oskar Lindblom and Michael Raffl also scored, while Carter Hart finished the game with 28 saves for the Flyers, who were recording their first win under coach Alain Vigneault, who has previously coached the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers.

For Chicago, who trailed 1-0, 3-1 and 4-2, this was a disappointing opener to the season, though the form of Patrick Kane, who scored twice and added an assist, will be pleasing to coach Jeremy Colliton, while Alexander Nylander and Alex DeBrincat also got on the scoresheet.

However, speaking to the media after the game, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said that he was disappointed with the fact that they were unable to find a way to win. 

He added that they lagged a bit in the second period, and it ended up hurting them, but they are seeing a lot of positives and a lot of things they can build on.

Konecny opened the scoring for Philadelphia on 6:24 in the first period when Chicago defenceman Dennis Gilbert was guilty of turning the puck over, allowing the Flyers winger to find the net.

The Blackhawks weren’t behind for long as Nylander levelled on 7:44, and they matched the Flyers until 6:28 in the second period when Konecny fired in a pass to Lindblom, whose shot ricocheted from the bar and a Chicago player into the net. 

Konecny grabbed a second at 18:04 in the second period to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead thanks to good work by Scott Laughton, who picked up a wayward pass and broke before setting up his teammate.

The Blackhawks got back into it seconds before the end of the second period through a DeBrincat one-timer, but Raffl made it 4-2 halfway through the third and that was enough to secure the win, though Kane grabbed a third goal for Chicago with a little over two minutes left.

Words: Stijn Janssen

Images: PA