The Flyers had no problem getting up for a Saturday afternoon puck drop.
They jumped all over the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center, doing all their damage in the first period en route to a 3-1 victory.
Travis Konecny, Valtteri Filppula and Ivan Provorov lit the lamp in the opening frame for a team that has often fought lackluster starts.
That was far from the case Saturday as the Flyers (22-16-8) have now won six of their last seven games (see standings). Over that span, they've outscored the opposition 28-19.
With the victory, they improved to 4-2-4 against the Metropolitan Division. Plenty more to come.
The Devils (24-13-8) entered in second place of the Metro but have had trouble against the orange and black thus far. The Flyers are 2-0-0 against New Jersey with two more games remaining in the regular-season series. It's a bit ironic the Flyers went 1-3-1 against a Devils team last season not nearly as strong, one that finished 28-40-14 with 70 points.
Hockey can be a weird game, huh?
• Shayne Gostisbehere can be so elusive with the puck, which, from a defenseman, is such a luxury for the Flyers. He exhibited that elusiveness early to jump-start the Flyers' first-period ignition. Gostisbehere took the puck from his own blue line and weaved through some Devils before finding a wide-open Konecny in the circle for a 1-0 lead at 3:29 of the opening frame.
• Speaking of Konecny, his goal and assist give him nine points in the last 10 games. In his previous 25 games, Konecny had four points. The 20-year-old is showing what he can do when playing in a prominent role: the first line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Who could have known putting a talented kid with talented players would yield positive results?
• The Flyers really got after it with a much-needed fast start. Prior to then, we hadn't seen many of those through 45 games. The Flyers entered Saturday in a four-way tie for fewest leads after the first period with eight, going 6-0-2 in those contests. They had themselves a healthy 3-0 advantage at first intermission Saturday behind a superb opening 20 minutes. The Devils had to pull starting goalie Keith Kinkaid, who was shaken up after surrendering the third marker.
• Filppula and Provorov scored the Flyers' other two first-period tallies. Michael Raffl got his stick on a bouncing pass to set up Filppula in front for his 10th of the season, his first double-digit-goal campaign since 2014-15. Meanwhile, Raffl quietly has 15 points in his last 25 games.
"We haven't been starting games how we would like," Filppula said at first intermission. "Today was a good start and it is obviously nice to get rewarded."
Flyers are off to a great start today.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 20, 2018
Filppula snags the second goal for the Flyers and it's 2-0. pic.twitter.com/ARqkm0AC1R
Provorov displayed some great resolve in front to finally finish off his goal.
Persistence pays off and it's 3-0, Philadelphia! pic.twitter.com/JQXIn3k0T4— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 20, 2018
The second-year blueliner also made a spectacular outlet pass in the second period that covered about three-quarters of the ice. Konecny was the beneficiary but misfired on the shot. Still, Provorov's play had fans ooh-ahhing.
• Raffl is as laid back and jovial of a player as you'll see on the Flyers' roster. He's not a fighter, but give him credit for always dropping the gloves whenever the opportunity calls for it. Devils defenseman John Moore called for it this time after Raffl inadvertently tripped Kinkaid. Raffl hung in there following a few early blows.
👊 Raffl drops the gloves 👊 pic.twitter.com/9fLgQxJ1AL— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 20, 2018
• The Flyers were bit undisciplined in the second period (two penalties) and missed a few opportunities offensively, but fortunately for them, it wasn't too costly thanks to such a positive first period. The Flyers permitted a power-play goal during the middle stanza and went 0 for 4 on the man advantage for the game. It didn't matter.
• Michal Neuvirth made a second consecutive start and was strong again, making 28 saves on 29 shots. In limited duty, he's 5-5-1 on the season and came in with a 2.35 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Solid stuff from Neuvirth.
• With Cory Schneider sick and Kinkaid's exit, emergency netminder Ken Appleby was forced into action and held his own. He stopped all 24 shots he faced in his NHL debut.
• It was the second NHL meeting between 2017 top-two picks Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. Hischier finished with no points for the Devils in 17:04 of ice time, while Patrick played 11:37 and went scoreless. His line did good work, though.
• Rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim was scratched for the eighth time in the last nine games, while forward Taylor Leier sat for a second straight game in favor of Tyrell Goulbourne.
• Eagles defensive back Corey Graham was in the house. Sounds like Philly is ready for 6:40 p.m. Sunday.
• Things don't get easier for the Flyers, who are right back at it Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. puck drop in Washington D.C. against the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals on NBC.