Sluggish Start Costs Flyers in Exciting First Game of Season

Sluggish Start Costs Flyers in Exciting First Game of Season
January 19, 2013, 3:30 pm

A loss to your hated rival isn't how you want to end your first day of the season. But the Flyers showed some encouraging things after getting off to a real sorry start in the first period, eventually fighting back and coming a few inches short of earning at least a point if only Wayne Simmonds could have banged one home in the final minutes.

A few positive takeaways:

Ilya Bryzgalov played well in net. After giving up a tough goal off a deflection and later a weaker goal which was his biggest mistake of the day, Bryz kept the Pens off the board from there on, making a couple of real nice saves along the way.

Claude Giroux didn't miss a beat from where he left off last season. He found the net for the team's lone goal of the day and dazzled us as well (video). Seeing G do his thing was a reminder of how much Flyers hockey can be to watch. Scott Hartnell's chemistry with the team's newest captain was fantastic as well. Hartsy found him in scoring position multiple times.

Rookie Scott Laughton held his own in his first NHL game.

On a team that looked really sluggish in the first period, youngsters Matt Read and Eric Wellwood looked like speed demons out on the ice.

The Flyers lost their season opener to the Penguins, but it was a wildly entertaining hockey game for the final two periods. Obviously not how you want to start the season, but nothing too horrible took place on the ice that can't be fixed going forward.

I have to say, it was quite enjoyable to be screaming at my television again. I forgot how fun that can be.

What'd you take away from Saturday's loss?

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