True grit: Sharks jump on Flyers early in 8-2 blowout
Flyers fans were still buzzing from the pregame festivities for the home opener, which included rookie mascot Gritty rappelling from the rafters to the ice, when the Sharks pounced.
The Flyers turned over the puck at the point, and Couture beat the odd-man rush and fired his first goal of the season past Brian Elliott. Pavelski made it 2-0 just 11 seconds later when he knocked in a rebound for his first goal of the season.
The Sharks, a Stanley Cup favorite, were just warming up. They had five goals in their first three games and then scored five goals through two periods.
Kane added his second of the game and fourth of the season in the second to make it 5-1. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Barclay Goodrow also scored in the third for an 8-1 lead. Aaron Dell stopped 31 shots.
Kovalchuk got his first goal since returning from Russia with the Kings this season on a three-year deal. It was the 418th of his career.
Smith was stellar, especially in the second period when he turned aside 21 shots. Nashville had a two-man advantage for a full 2 minutes in the period.
The loss was Nashville’s first after a pair of road wins to open the season. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne finished with 24 saves.
They helped the Eastern Conference-leading Hurricanes improve to 3-0-1 — their best start since the move from Hartford in 1997 — under new coach and former team captain Rod Brind’Amour.
Philipp Grubauer, making his Colorado debut after being acquired from Washington in June, had 30 saves. Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg scored in the second period, but Colorado was shut out in the third as Columbus broke a 2-2 tie and added a couple more.
Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly had a career-high four assists after he scored the winning goal in Sunday night’s 7-6 overtime win at Chicago. Mitchell Marner had a goal and three assists as the Maple Leafs improved to 2-0 on a four-game trip.
Led by Matthews and Tavares, Toronto has won three of its first four games.
Frederik Andersen had 30 stops for the Maple Leafs.
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Philadelphia Flyers
- San Jose Sharks
- Toronto Maple Leafs