From start to finish, the Philadelphia Flyers gave their fans reasons to cheer on Monday night.
Jeff Carter scored his second goal of the game with 2:38 left in the third period to lift the Flyers to a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at the Wells Fargo Center. Carter snapped a 2-2 tie when his shot bounced through the legs of Avs goalie Craig Anderson.
Darroll Powe added an empty-net goal for some insurance on the night the Flyers raised their Eastern Conference championship banner.
Claude Giroux scored a shorthanded goal for the Flyers. Rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had another solid game with 25 saves for the Flyers.
Coach Peter Laviolette had experienced one of those thrilling pregame ceremonies before. He led Carolina to a Stanley Cup title in 2006 and knew this would be a moment for his Flyers to remember — even if they fell two wins short of winning it all.
"I like emotion," he said. "I'm a believer that you grab it and harness it. Use it to your advantage, don't use it recklessly."
Chris Pronger returned to Philadelphia's lineup after missing the first two games as he recovered from offseason knee surgery. Pronger, one of the NHL's top defenseman, said during the second intermission his timing was off and that he needed about a week to "get back on track."
"I'm obviously not quite there yet, but you have to get in a few to get that (timing) back," Pronger said.
Carter got the Flyers back on track late in the game after they blew an early 2-0 lead. Mike Richards set up the winner with a nice pass and Carter knocked the puck off the inside of Anderson's leg and through them for a 3-2 lead.
"He came across and it hit my leg," Anderson said. "There was not much else I could do."
That helped make the Flyers and their fans as happy at the end of the game as they were at the start.
Brandon Yip and Milan Hejduk scored for the Avalanche to help them rally from a 2-0 hole and tie the game.
Giroux struck first on his second shorthanded goal already this season, this one a backhand against Anderson with 7:31 left in the first. Carter made it 2-0 when he beat Anderson on almost the identical type of backhand goal.
The lead didn't last. Yip added a goal in the second period and Hejduk tied it only 32 seconds into the third.
"We fought back hard and competed until the final whistle, but we made a few mistakes and on the power play, you're not supposed to lose momentum," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said.
Blues 5, Ducks 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Anaheim found itself under siege practically from the opening faceoff, and St. Louis needed just a six-second span of game action to take complete control.
David Backes and Andy McDonald set a new team record by scoring in rapid-fire succession against Jonas Hiller and the Blues outshot the Ducks by a final margin of 53-14 at Scottrade Center.
Matt D'Agostini scored twice and Brandon Crombeen had a shorthanded goal for St. Louis, which won its second straight to begin the season. Jaroslav Halak finished with 13 saves.
"They've had trouble scoring goals, so it was good for us to get off to a quick start, get on them quickly and put a couple of goals in," said Brad Boyes, who got the second assist on Backes' goal. "The quick start was something we wanted to do."
A power-play goal by Saku Koivu was the lone bright spot in another troubling performance by Anaheim, which has lost all three of its games by a combined 13-2 margin. Koivu has both of the Ducks goals, while the defense has yielded 145 shots to its opponents, an average of 46.3 per contest.
"Obviously, the sun is going to come up tomorrow -- we hope," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "What you have to do is take a self-analysis of what we can do better. There's lots of areas for us to improve in as a team."
The Blues led 2-0 less than four minutes in thanks to Backes and McDonald, who broke the previous franchise mark of two goals in seven seconds set by Don McKenney and Frank St. Marseille on Jan. 24, 1968, against the Minnesota North Stars.
Backes capitalized on an Anaheim turnover and a David Perron centering pass at 3:53 and the Blues came storming up ice on the ensuing faceoff. T.J. Oshie fed McDonald near the left circle and his wrister beat Hiller.
"To be rewarded that early, it really helps you to stick to your game plan and I thought we did a good job throughout the game to do that," Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said.
Perron was in the penalty box for holding the stick when Crombeen made it 3-0 with 5:10 elapsed in the second. With the Ducks still on the power play, Koivu got them on the board at 6:08 with an unassisted goal, but D'Agostini ended Hiller's afternoon by scoring with 4:09 left in the period.
Curtis McElhinney relieved and the Blues continued to pepper the Ducks with shots. McElhinney stopped 18 of them, allowing only D'Agostini's second of the game, a power-play goal with 2:42 left in the third.
"It was full engagement from start to finish," St. Louis coach Davis Payne said. "We've been on the other end of that."
Canucks 2, Panthers 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Daniel Sedin scored twice and Roberto Luongo made 41 saves as Vancouver edged Florida at Rogers Arena.
Henrik Sedin, who, along with linemate Mikael Samuelsson, had two assists. Luongo stopped all 19 shots he faced in the third period to help the Canucks earn their first win of the season (1-0-1).
"You want to get one as soon as possible," Luongo said. "We didn't want to head on the road without at least two points in our pocket. It was a tight game again tonight, but we found a way to get it done at the end of the game."
After opening the scoring on a short rebound in the first period, Daniel put the Canucks ahead again on a late scramble. Tomas Vokoun made an amazing headfirst dive save at one side of the net, but the puck squirted out the other side and this time it was Daniel lunging forward to knock it over the goal line.
"We had our chances … we could have scored a few more," Henrik Sedin said. "We didn't play our best tonight. We took a little bit too many penalties again. But they played a really good game tonight."
Rostislav Olesz scored and Vokoun made 33 saves for Florida, which opened the season with a 3-2 loss in Edmonton on Sunday. Olesz was credited with the goal when a second-period deflection off Canucks defenseman Alex Edler got past Luongo.
"We've strung together six good periods in two tough buildings and don't have anything to show for it, so that's a little disappointing, Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "I like the way we're playing. This is a tough game for us back to back with Vancouver waiting and fresh. We competed hard."
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was impressed by Florida's effort, but hardly surprised.
"That's today's NHL … there are no bad teams," Vigneault said. "We knew we were in for a real hard-fought game. They play a smart, high-percentage hockey that doesn't give you a lot of room on the ice. We found a way to win at the end."
Luongo, who blanked the Panthers 3-0 last season, made first-period saves on a point-blank attempt by Marty Reasoner and Cory Stillman's rebound bid.
"That's all we need … two goals and a stellar effort from Louie," Daniel Sedin said. "He was really good tonight."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.