PHILADELPHIA – Nolan Patrick missed last season with debilitating migraines and Oskar Lindblom had his shortened in his fight with a rare bone cancer. The only cheers they heard in their comeback games came in the locker room before faceoff in the form of rousing approval from the Philadelphia Flyers, grateful their teammates could play.
With Gritty thrusting his bulbous belly from his sofa, the Flyers turned the NHL opener into a memorable one.
Joel Farabee had a goal and three assists, Michael Raffl, James van Riemsdyk and Patrick also scored to lead the Flyers to a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
The unconventional opener was decided when Raffl scored from the slot and beat Tristan Jarry 5:37 into the third for a 4-3 lead and the only cheers for the go-ahead goal came from Flyers fans watching at home.
The Flyers pounced from there.
Mark Jankowski, Brandon Tanev and Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins.
MAPLE LEAFS 5, CANADIENS 4, OT: In Toronto, Morgan Rielly scored at 3:24 of overtime to give Toronto the win on opening night.
Rielly took a feed from Toronto captain John Tavares on a 2-on-1 to beat Montreal goalie Carey Price and end a chaotic extra period where both teams had chances to get the victory.
William Nylander had two goals and an assist for Toronto, while Tavares added a goal and two assists.
Jimmy Vesey chipped in with his first goal for the Maple Leafs, and Frederik Andersen had 28 saves.