No, the Flyers won’t win them all.
So enjoy this while you can, since the Phillies will be the first to tell you that regular-season success doesn’t mean a thing.
But after spoiling the Bruins’ Stanley Cup banner-raising party last week, then following it up with a wild, 5-4 win over the Cup runner-up Vancouver Canucks in the home opener at the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday night, Peter Laviolette’s 3-0 club is stating an early case as contenders.
Especially if they can continue to dramatically reverse momentum like they did in this one. On three different occasions, the Flyers countered Vancouver goals with one of their own within a two-minute span, including Andrej Meszaros’ game-winner just 1:01 after Daniel Sedin had tied it on the power play.
“How we rebound from when they score is critical,” said new captain Chris Pronger, who followed Claude Giroux’s early power-play goal with one of his own. “You look for that kind of response and momentum shift. We did a great job.”
First it was James van Riemsdyk banging home a Giroux rebound past a helpless Roberto Luongo to make it 3-1 after the first period. In the second, after Daniel’s identical twin brother, Henrik, had narrowed the gap to 3-2, newcomer Jakub Voracek converted rookie Sean Couturier’s pass just 1:51 later. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s paying an instant dividend from the Jeff Carter trade, which brought Voracek and Couturier to Philadelphia.
But the Flyers couldn’t stand prosperity, even after Meszaros negated Daniel Sedin’s goal at the 4:40 mark. Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was forced to make 16 of his 36 saves in the third period alone, helping secure a third straight victorious home opener. The franchise is now 26-12-6 all-time in home openers.
“It wasn’t exactly pretty,” said Van Riemsdyk, “but we found a way to win, which is a good sign.”
“A lot of goal scoring, which is exciting for the fans,” added Jaromir Jagr, who assisted on Pronger’s goal. “But we should be more disciplined.”
At least for now, though, they’ll take it.