PRAGUE — The Blackhawks began their 2019-20 looking much the same as they did in 2018-19: defensively loose, turnover prone and slow on their feet.
Numerous back-end breakdowns spoiled goals from Alex Nylander, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane as the Hawks dropped a 4-3 decision to the Flyers in the season opener Friday.
The Hawks were out-shot heavily, especially in the second period, as the Flyers adapted quicker to the poor ice quality at Prague’s O2 Arena. Kane pulled the Hawks within one with 2:07 left and the goalie pulled, but they were unable to find an equalizer.
Nylander’s beautiful snipe was his first goal on the team, and Corey Crawford made some acrobatic stops among his 33 saves. The Hawks will return home from Europe winless in the one game that mattered.
Highlights from the game:
Final score — Flyers 4, Blackhawks 3.
2:07: Flyers 4, Blackhawks 3 — Patrick Kane scores to make it a one-goal game. Hawks continue with the empty net.
2:51: Flyers 4, Blackhawks 2 — Blackhawks go with empty net.
10:12: Flyers 4, Blackhawks 2 — Michael Raffi restores the Flyers’ two-goal lead. Tyler Pitlick and Robert Hagg are credited with the assists.
12.3 seconds: Flyers 3, Blackhawks 2 — Alex DeBrincat scores to trim the Flyers’ lead. Patrick Kane and Erik Gustafsson are credited with assists.
1:57: Flyers 3, Blackhawks 1 — Travis Konecny scores his second goal to give the Flyers a two-goal lead.
2:11: Flyers 2, Blackhawks 1 — A 4-on-4 as the Flyers’ Claude Giroux goes to the box for slashing.
2:30: Flyers 2, Blackhawks 1 — The first brawl of the season as the players mix it up around the Hawks’ net. Andrew Shaw goes to the penalty box, giving the Flyers another power play.
13:32 Flyers 2, Blackhawks 1 — Oskar Lindblom’s unassisted goal on the power play puts the Flyers in front of the Blackhawks.
Rough period so far for the Blackhawks. Haven't produced anything really offensively. Colliton sent out DeBrincat-Strome-Kane after a recent PK to try to switch things up.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 4, 2019
Flyers take a 2-1 lead on the flukiest goal you'll ever see. Puck ricocheted off the crossbar, then off Koekkoek's face literally at the faceoff dot and into the net.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 4, 2019
15:19: Blackhawks 1, Flyers 1 — Penalty by Duncan Keith gives the Flyers a power play.
The Blackhawks have 11 shots on goal through the first period. The Flyers have 13.
12:16: Blackhawks 1, Flyers 1 — The Hawks tie the game with a goal by Alexander Nylander, his first as a Blackhawk. Patrick Kane is credited with the assist.
13:36: Flyers 1, Blackhawks 0 — Travis Konecny scores an unassisted goal to give the Flyers the lead.
16:44: Blackhawks 0, Flyers 0 — A hooking penalty by Jakub Voracek gives the Blackhawks the first power play.
Before the game
The NHL regular season is finally underway. Even if the teams had to travel to Europe to open play.
The Blackhawks play the Flyers in the first of this season’s NHL Global Series games. (The Sabres and Lightning will play two games in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9.)
The Blackhawks’ next game will be the home opener Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. against the Sharks.
Philadelphia went 37-37-8 overall and 19-18-4 at home in the 2018-19 season. Goalies for the Flyers allowed 3.2 goals on 32.3 shots per game last season.
Chicago went 36-34-12 overall and 17-20-4 on the road during the 2018-19 season. The Blackhawks scored 267 total goals last season, 48 on power plays and six shorthanded.
Where to watch
Time: 1 p.m. CT
Location:O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
TV: NBC Sports Chicago