BOSTON -- If the Flyers are going to win their first playoff series since 2012, earning a high seed in the round-robin tournament would seem to make the path easier.
They took the first step on that journey Sunday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, where they jolted best-in-the-NHL Boston, 4-1, in a round-robin opener.
Fourth-line forwards Michael Raffl and Nate Thompson set the tone with second-period goals, and rookie defenseman Phil Myers and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers. Unflappable Carter Hart made 34 saves and was solid in the first postseason game of his young career.
The only negative for the Flyers: A limping Raffl had to be helped off the ice after being knocked into the boards by defenseman Jeremy Lauzon with 6 minutes, 17 seconds left in the game.
Four teams are in the three-game mini tourney that will determine the Eastern Conference's top four seeds.
In the teams' first real game in 145 days -- the regular season was stopped March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak -- the Flyers started slowly but took control in the second period.
Counting the regular season, the Flyers have won 10 of their last 11 games.
Coincidentally, the Flyers and Boston played each other in their last game before the season was halted. The Bruins ended the Flyers' nine-game winning streak March 10, 2-0, as Tuukka Rask delivered a shutout.
Rask, arguably the NHL's best goalie this season, was sidelined Sunday by an unspecified illness that is not supposed to be serious. He was replaced by Jaroslav Halak, another veteran coming off a quality season.