PHILADELPHIA — With a shortened training camp and no exhibition games, there will be rust, no doubt, in the first few weeks of the NHL season.
The special teams didn’t get much work in camp, so they figure to be especially out of sync.
The Flyers didn’t get the memo.
Their power play, under scrutiny in the offseason because of its awful play in last year’s playoffs, scored on its first two chances Wednesday, triggering an entertaining 6-3 opening-night win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the almost-empty Wells Fargo Center.
Joel Farabee had four points, including two assists on the power play, to key the win. Nolan Patrick, who missed last year with a migraine disorder, scored his first goal since March 9, 2019, and newcomer Eric Gusfasson set up two power-play goals.
Michael Raffl converted a slick, behind-the-end-line pass from Scott Laughton with 14:23 left in regulation to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead. About 2 ½ minutes earlier, Brandon Tanev had made it 3-3 as he went top shelf and beat Carter Hart to the glove side from the left circle.
Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes scored on rebounds 20 seconds apart to increase the lead to 6-3 with under eight minutes to go.
In franchise history, the Flyers are 26-19-8 in season openers.
With 16:21 left in the second period, Hart made an ill-advised clear that was intercepted by (who else?) Sidney Crosby in front of the net, and the Flyers’ tormentor scored a power-play goal to tie the score at 2-2. It gave Crosby 106 points, including 44 goals, in 71 career games against the Flyers.
The Penguins controlled the second period, but Farabee put the Flyers ahead, 3-2, by scoring a pretty goal with 66 seconds remaining in the stanza.