The Philadelphia Flyers took on the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague for the 2019 NHL Global Series.
After finishing the preseason with a 1-3-3 record in seven games played, the Philadelphia Flyers kicked off their 2019-20 regular-season by traveling to Prague to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. The Flyers swept the Blackhawks in 2018-19 and hoped to do more of the same this time around. Carter Hart got the nod from Alain Vigneault and opposed Corey Crawford. Hart was looking to build on a successful rookie season in which he posted a 2.83 Goals Against Average with a .917 save percentage in 31 games for Philadelphia.
The Orange and Black nabbed their first goal of 2019-20 in a relatively quick fashion, as Travis Konecny sniped a puck under Crawford’s glove to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead seven minutes in. Konecny stole an exit pass from a Chicago defender, setting himself up for the dangerous chance and eventual tally. That lead didn’t last long, though, as Alex Nylander rudely scored on the rush to tie the game up at one. Nylander used Justin Braun as a partial-screen and was able to beat Hart glove-side. Both netminders settled in as the period went on as the game stayed tied at one following 20 minutes of action.
Travis Sanheim did a great job of getting Duncan Keith to draw a penalty to put the Flyers on their first power-play of the year early in the second. Following some tremendous movement from the top unit, the second squad cashed in as Oskar Lindblom’s shot went off of the post, glanced off a Blackhawks defender, and into the back of the net to gift Philadelphia with a 2-1 advantage. Was it lucky? Sure, but this is the Flyers we’re talking about, who deserve to have all of the luck in the world, IMO.
Chicago took another penalty not long after the goal thanks to a delay of game minor from Brent Seabrook (eight years, 55 million), but found a way to kill it off following a bit of pressure from the Flyers. Konecny went on to net his second tally of the contest in a highlight reel fashion, deking his way passed Keith and roofing home a backhander to make it a 3-1 affair. Alex DeBrincat would get one back, though, scoring on the power-play after an outstanding pass from Patrick Kane to put the Blackhawks within one after two.
The pace of play was fast and furious to begin the final frame, as the two sides traded chances back-and-forth early on. One of those scoring chances ended up turning into the Flyers fourth goal in the form of a Michael Raffl wraparound, supplying Philadelphia with a two tally lead. Chicago once again got one back, but the Flyers held on to get their first victory of 2019-20, 4-3.
It was the Konecny show throughout the entire contest. TK was all over the place, generating chances, scoring goals, and even making some solid plays defensively. This was one of, if not, the best game from the 22-year-old in his four-year NHL career, and hopefully, it’s a sign of more to come.
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The Flyers are now 1-0-0 on the year. Next game is their home opener against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.