Flyers looking to beat Devils for 2-0 start

Field Level Media

The Philadelphia Flyers will look for their second consecutive victory to open the 2019-20 season when they host the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

The Flyers won their opening game 4-3 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday as part of the National Hockey League's Global Series in Prague.

Travis Konecny scored two goals, second-year goaltender Carter Hart made 28 saves and first-year coach Alain Vigneault won his debut. Vigneault was named the 21st coach in Flyers history after the club missed the playoffs for the fourth time in seven years.

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Konecny scored only three goals through the first 19 games last season, so this performance in the opener has to be encouraging.

"What I see is a young man that has got a lot of energy, wants to learn how to play the right way," Vigneault said. "It's not just about offense -- he wants to defend and he wants to defend well."

The 21-year-old Hart went 16-13-1 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average as a rookie. Though he allowed three goals in the opener, the Flyers appear to have found their much-needed goaltender after decades of searching.

"I'm nervous before every game, but that's just because I care so much," Hart said. "But once the puck drops, it's time to play."

Vigneault will make his home debut with his fourth franchise when the puck drops Wednesday. He's not concerned with the past, only the present.

"I'm going to be on high alert," Vigneault said. "I'm going to work my butt off to get this done, and I'm very confident it will work out."

The Devils, meanwhile, are off to a rocky start with a 5-4 loss in a shootout to the Winnipeg Jets and a 7-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. In the opener against the Jets, the Devils built a 4-0 lead before eventually falling short.

"We're playing soft and light, and we're playing like we want to have an easy game," Devils coach John Hynes said.

Center Travis Zajac scored one of the two goals in what was a lackluster effort against Buffalo.

"A little too much watching I think right now and waiting for someone else to maybe do the work," Zajac said.

This game will hold extra meaning for Devils right winger Wayne Simmonds, who spent nearly eight seasons with the Flyers before signing with the Devils in the offseason. Simmonds scored 203 goals and handed out 175 assists in 584 career games with the Flyers.

"Give me a couple of boos. It's only right, especially in Philadelphia," Simmonds said. "The fan base is just so passionate. To me, it would kind of be an honor to be booed. It's kind of crazy to say.

"... I know they're all gonna be chirping at me. I don't care. I'm probably gonna run everyone to be honest with you. I hope they have their heads up because -- I said it when I got traded to Philly from (the Los Angeles Kings) -- once you've game-planned and put on that jersey, there's no friends on the ice."

--Field Level Media

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