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October 20, 2016

Instant observations: Ducks 3, Flyers 2

The Flyers honored Ed Snider before the game, and then they opened their golden anniversary season (at the Wells Fargo Center, at least) against the winless Anaheim Ducks.

Easy two points, right? Well, not exactly. The Flyers played a poor overall game, perhaps their worst of the young season, and the Ducks escaped Philly with an earned 3-2 win.

The Flyers power play let them down: The Ducks came into the game toward the bottom of the league in discipline, and boy, did they ever take some penalties in this one. Maybe they didn't have as many players in the box as the Flyers in Anaheim last year, but it was a steady parade.

The good news for the Ducks is that outside of this beautiful tic-tac-toe scoring play from Giroux to Voracek to Simmonds, the Orange and Black didn't make good use of all the time they were afforded with a man advantage. Through 40 minutes, the Flyers were 1-7 on the power play:

The Ducks won on a pretty feed from Korbinian Holzer to Ryan Garbutt in the third period. After the game, Dave Hakstol admitted that the Flyers lost coverage for a split second (and Shayne Gostisbehere and Andrew MacDonald did just that), but they were beat by an excellent no-look pass by Holzer:

Mark Streit had a scary moment: Oddly enough considering the consistent whistles, the Ducks got away with at least one penalty when Andrew Cogliano slashed the Flyers' elder statesman on the blue line. Streit limped off, but he was able to return to action:

Matt Read stayed red hot: The 30-year-old winger, who recently received a promotion of sorts to the third line, had three points in all of October last season. This year? He has four goals in four games — That's an 82-goal pace, if you're keeping score at home — and has scored a couple of beauties, including this move on John Gibson:

The Flyers didn't play well at even strength: Small sample size and all, the Ducks and Flyers both came in as middle-of-the-pack possession teams. But as has been the case early on, the Flyers got off to a slow start. Through two periods at 5v5, Anaheim was outshooting the Flyers 17-14 despite the fact that they had been on a total five less power plays. Things didn't get much better in the third period.

In general, the Orange and Black had trouble getting past the Ducks in the neutral zone with any sort of control and generating consistent offensive pressure. Dave Hakstol has one day to address that before the Carolina Hurricanes come to town on Saturday night.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann