The Alaska governor and self-described "hockey mom" heard a few boos when she walked onto the ice, but that soon turned to polite applause as she headed to center ice with captain Mike Richards of the Flyers and alternate captain and Alaska native Scott Gomez of the Rangers.
Palin waved to the crowd and smiled as she dropped the puck to applause and cheers.
Cathy O'Connell of Erdenheim, Pa., joined Palin on the ice as the winner of a team promotion for the "Ultimate Hockey Mom."
Last month, Palin visited a Philadelphia bar with Flyers owner Ed Snider.
The NHL said it did not view the Flyers' invitation to be politically motivated.
"Governor Palin is a supporter of the sport, which she has proclaimed publicly," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said this week. "As a public figure who has a very public connection with hockey, her recent associations with the Flyers and other NHL franchises is not surprising and, in our view, not inappropriate."
Material from wire services was used in this report