LAS VEGAS (AP) — Wayne Simmonds scored two goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 season-opening road win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.
Oskar Lindblom, Robert Hagg and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers, who won their third straight season opener. Philadelphia has at least a point in each of its last four season openers (3-0-1).
And while the Golden Knights’ scoring chances outweighed Philadelphia’s, 23-13, Flyers netminder Brian Elliott was outstanding in stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced in front of an announced crowd of 18,555.
Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury allowed five goals and stopped 11 of 16 shots before being replaced by Malcolm Subban with 9:49 left in the second period. Subban stopped all nine of the shots he saw. Fleury dropped to 9-5-0 in season-openers.
Jonathan Marchessault and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored for the Golden Knights.
The Flyers finished 1-for-4 on power play chances, while Vegas was 0-for-3.
Marchessault’s shot from the left dot just over Elliott’s blocker gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead early in the first period. Lindblom tied the game after a nice move around Fleury’s left pad and a backhand into an empty net.
Simmonds pounced on a loose puck sitting on the goal line, and poked it into the net to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead late in the first period. His second goal made it 3-1 early in the second period when he slipped a shot under a sprawled out Fleury.
Simmonds has five goals in his last two season-openers.
Later in the period, it was Mikhail Vorobyev starting a rush with a stretch pass to James van Riemsdyk, who then fed Hagg, who beat Fleury with a wrist shot to the glove side. Just 1:06 later, Laughton deflected Radko Gudas’ shot from the point to make it 5-1.
Bellemare netted a short-handed goal after creating a turnover in the neutral zone and skating in unassisted midway through the third period to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 5-2 with 11:32 left in the game.
This marked the first of two games in nine days between these clubs. Vegas will visit the Flyers on October 13 to wrap up a five-game road trip that begins Saturday night.
NOTES: Only in Las Vegas will you find crooner Wayne Newton and rapper Lil Jon simultaneously dropping the ceremonial first puck together pregame. … With his two assists, Jakub Voracek reached 400 points for his career. … Claude Giroux’s assist on Simmonds’ second goal moved him past Bill Barber for third on the Flyers’ all-time list with 464.
Philadelphia: Visits Colorado on Saturday.
Vegas: Visits Minnesota on Saturday.