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game recap

Simmonds gets hat trick in Flyers win against Sharks

Gostisbehere, Voracek each get three assists in season opener

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The Philadelphia Flyers' power play struggled during the preseason, scoring five goals in eight games.

Then the regular season began Wednesday, and they scored on their first three power plays in a 5-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Wayne Simmonds scored three goals, two of them with the man-advantage, including the game-winner at 9:27 of the third period.


[WATCH: Complete Flyers vs. Sharks highlights]


"We didn't start working on our power play until the end of camp," Simmonds said. "I think our focus was to get our legs going and make sure we had our 5-on-5 structure down and everything like that. With our power play, both units this year, it's only a matter of time. We kept working on it and we'll continue to work on it. Today was a pretty good showing."

It was the second hat trick of Simmonds' NHL career. The other was April 20, 2013, at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Video: PHI@SJS: Simmonds ignites Flyers with 400th point

Claude Giroux and Jordan Weal scored for the Flyers, Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakub Voracek each had three assists, and Brian Elliott made 32 saves in his Philadelphia debut.

Kevin Labanc scored two goals in the first period for the Sharks, and Logan Couture scored in the third.

Labanc was in the penalty box for all three Philadelphia power-play goals.

"He had good legs, and the three penalties I think came from being a little excited," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "First game and he was trying so hard that he reached on a couple. I don't hold him responsible for a couple of the three. He'll learn from his mistakes and where to back off. You can't teach what he does. A lot of the night, he was our best player."

Martin Jones made 26 saves for San Jose.

Simmonds deflected Gostisbehere's shot from the point past Jones on the power play to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead with 10:33 remaining. It came six seconds after Labanc went to the penalty box for tripping.

Video: PHI@SJS: Giroux buries Voracek's feed after turnover

Simmonds gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead when he scored on the power play with 2:24 left in the second period. That goal came eight seconds after Labanc was penalized for slashing. Simmonds deflected Gostisbehere's slap shot from the left point past Jones.

Simmonds completed the first hat trick in a season opener in Flyers history when he scored into an empty net with 36 seconds left to make it 5-3.

"And he did a lot of other things, and he did them really well," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said of Simmonds. "He was a real good power forward tonight."

The Sharks tied the game 3-3 at 3:12 of the third on Couture's power-play goal. Joe Thornton had the primary assist. Brent Burns had the other for his 500th NHL point.

The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the first period on Giroux's goal from the slot after a giveaway by Jones. Weal made it 2-0 with a power-play goal from the right face-off circle at 11:16 of the first.

Labanc scored his first of the night on a rebound at 17:17 of the first to get San Jose within 2-1. He tied it 2-2 with 19 seconds left in the period with a power-play goal.

Video: PHI@SJS: Weal fires in power-play goal on the rush


Goal of the game

Voracek passed back across the ice to Gostisbehere at the left point for a slap shot that Simmonds deflected into the net from close range for his first goal. "We had a real good shooting mentality," Hakstol said of the power play. "Scored a couple early by having great net-front presence, one or two passes and putting it to the net."

Video: PHI@SJS: Simmonds redirects puck past Jones


Save of the game

Labanc had the puck in the left circle with a good chance to complete a hat trick, but Elliott got across the crease to stop his slap shot with 10:43 left in the third period to keep it tied 3-3. Simmonds scored the game-winner 10 seconds later.


Highlight of the game

Elliott stopped a point shot from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon, but the puck bounced into the air, and Labanc knocked it past him with a backhand from close range for his first goal.

Video: PHI@SJS: Labanc swats the puck past Elliott


They said it

"It was a really hard game, to be honest. A lot of grind. It's the first game of the season. We found a way to win the game, which was good. There are 81 to go, so I wouldn't get carried away." -- Flyers forward Jakub Voracek


"I've got to be more disciplined. That shouldn't have happened, and they scored off them, so I've got to be a little more disciplined and watch where I put my stick." -- Sharks forward Kevin Labanc on taking three penalties that led to three Flyers power-play goals


Video: PHI@SJS: Labanc buries his second goal on power play


Need to know

Center Nolan Patrick, selected by the Flyers with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, had three shots on goal and a blocked shot in 13:30 in his NHL debut. The 19-year-old was 5-for-9 on draws (56 percent). … Philadelphia was 3-for-5 on the power play. San Jose went 2-for-6. ... Flyers rookie defensemen Travis Sanheim and Samuel Morin were healthy scratches, as was forward Jori Lehtera. ... Defenseman Tim Heed and forwards Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Carpenter were the healthy scratches for the Sharks.


What's next

Flyers: At the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: Simmonds tallied hat trick to lead Flyers past Sharks

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