October 16, 2016
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored at 1:48 of overtime and the Arizona Coyotes kicked off their 20th season in the desert with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
The Flyers dominated the early part of overtime, but Mike Smith made a sprawling save on Matt Read and the Coyotes were able to clear.
The Coyotes used quick passing to get the puck to Ekman-Larsson, who gathered the feed from Martin Hanzal and lifted it over a diving Steve Mason on a delayed penalty.
Hanzal also had a goal, along with Shane Doan and Brad Richardson for the Coyotes. Smith stopped 27 shots.
Read, Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds scored for the Flyers. Mason stopped 31 shots.
Coming off a rebuilding season, the Coyotes are hoping to take the next step two decades after moving to the desert from Winnipeg.
Arizona returned its dynamic young players — namely Max Domi and Anthony Duclair — picked up key veterans during busy offseason and tapped their deep system to add more young talent.
The Flyers stood pat over the offseason after reaching the playoffs last year and opened the 2016-17 season with a strong performance, scoring all of its goals in the second period of a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
The Coyotes, not surprisingly, had a jump in their step for the opener, putting the Flyers on their heels. Philadelphia was whistled for too many men on the ice twice in the opening 3 minutes and the Coyotes scored their first goal on a power play midway through the first period.
Doan, who led Arizona with 28 goals last season, got it by gathering a loose puck and flicking it past Mason, who was run into by two players. The goal was upheld after a challenge by the Flyers for goalie interference.
The Flyers gathered themselves after the slow start, tying it on Raffl's deflection of a shot by Nick Schultz from the point.
Hanzal put Arizona up 2-1 late in the period, punching in a rebound after Jacob Chychrun missed on a wraparound.
Richardson got the Coyotes off to a quick start in the second, scoring a short-handed goal 17 seconds in, but Simmonds pulled the Flyers within 3-2 by slipping the puck between Smith's pads on a rebound a few minutes later.
Read used a nifty move to tie it early in the third period, deking Smith to get him out of position before knocking in a backhander.
• Chychrun and Christian Dvorak each had assists for their first NHL points.
• The Flyers thought they had a goal in the first period when Boyd Gordon got a shot behind Smith, but the officials ruled the puck had not crossed the line. The call was upheld upon review.
• The Coyotes are 8-2-0 when opening a season at home since moving to Arizona.
• The Flyers went 0-for-4 on the power play and are scoreless in six chances this season.
• The Flyers play at Chicago on Tuesday before heading back to Philadelphia for their home opener against Anaheim.
• Arizona kicks off a six-game trip in Ottawa on Tuesday.