Flyers vs Devils: John Tortorella’s club win season opener

John Tortorella has been totally candid about his expectations for Year 1 in Philadelphia.

He makes no bold predictions.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” the head coach said during morning training. “I hope things turn out the right way. If not, we’re just trying to support each other through the bad things and trying to move our affairs forward in the right direction.”

Business for the Flyers got off to a good start Thursday night. The club picked up a 5-2 win over the Devils in their 2022-23 regular season opener at the Wells Fargo Center.

Travis Konecny ​​and Morgan Frost delivered two-goal performances. Wade Allison also found the back of the net.

Frost’s empty net sealed the game.

Kevin Hayes, Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo finished with two assists each.

“I thought we played our ass off,” Tortorella said.

“It’s a league to find. Nothing is perfect. Not every minute is perfect. Sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it looks awful. But it’s a league to find and we found a way to win.”

Listed attendance at the Wells Fargo Center was 19,107.

“I hope they respect the fact that our guys played really hard tonight and gave,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think people believe – not here – but I don’t think people in hockey in general believe in us. Hopefully this will give us the juice to prove them wrong. I thought we took a step tonight.

The Flyers are 6-0-2 in their last eight season openers. They meet New Jersey three more times this season.

• General manager Chuck Fletcher pointed to the youth and speed of the Flyers to explain why his team could be fun to watch.

The club have 12 players aged 25 or younger on their roster of 23 players. He sees Tortorella’s youth and direction to be a good mix.

The management and the technical staff must have liked the departure of its youngest pieces. Allison is 24 on Friday, Konecny ​​is 25 and Frost is 23.

Tanner Laczynski, a 25-year-old fourth-line center, assisted Frost’s second-period goal, which came just 23 seconds after Konecny ​​gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Konecny ​​made the Flyers’ lead 4-1 with a power play in the third period.

“I loved our work ethic,” Konecny ​​said. “One of the cool things is that our roster has a lot of young guys. It doesn’t matter who you are, everybody was doing the right things and they weren’t afraid to make plays because they know everybody support them and play hard.”

The Flyers would love to see Konecny ​​lead the charge for their youth movement. He had a two-goal game last season. They are trying to figure out what kind of goalscorer he offers.

Heading into Game 1, Konecny ​​didn’t seem bothered by the lack of outside buzz on the Flyers.

“We stay inside,” he said after morning training. “I don’t worry about people writing stuff online. I just worry about our stuff inside here and what we can control.”

• Carter Hart did his job in net with 35 saves.

The Devils took a brief 1-0 lead on a power play goal in the first period. Allison erased it 23 seconds later.

It’s just one of 82 games, but the Flyers have seemed more together in structure and support. The hard effort was definitely there.

“I think the biggest philosophy that we talked about with our team is that we talk about being above the puck and being above the puck with our breaks and our follow-ups,” said Tortorella in the morning. “Sometimes you can’t get over the puck. Sometimes it’s just good to be over your guy where he has to go through you. That’s where it’s hard to play This is where the defenders, they close in, they don’t join the rush because, ‘S—, I’ve got another body I have to go through.’ … I think it will help us get more pucks and move forward offensively.

They got better as the game got deeper, something Tortorella hopes for when he pushes conditioning during training camp.

New Jersey goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 20 of the Flyers’ 24 shots.

• Good start for the Flyers’ new defensive duo of Provorov and DeAngelo.

They only played one pre-season game together, but they looked on the same page in Game 1.

“They played really well,” Hart said. “I think they will get along well down the stretch. They made a lot of good plays, blocked a few shots and got the puck out really well.

In another blueline storyline, Travis Sanheim signed an eight-year, $50 million contract extension before the game.

“Sanny and I pretty much got together right after the draft,” Provorov said. “Playing against each other in the juniors and then in the camps, in the hotels and all that. Very happy for him. He’s a big part of this team and we’re happy to have him for another eight years.”

• The Flyers’ power play went 1 for 3 and the penalty kill went 2 for 3.

• Owen Tippett was hit in an open pit collision in the final minute of the first half. The 23-year-old winger did not return to action due to an upper body injury.

• Cam Atkinson (upper body) and Rasmus Ristolainen (undisclosed) were not available. Both are day to day with their injuries. More on the Flyers’ health front here.

• The Flyers host the Canucks on Saturday (4 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Mike Yeo, the former interim head coach of the Flyers, is an assistant coach in Vancouver. He was already in town Thursday night to pre-scout the Flyers.

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