SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Wayne Simmonds scored his second power-play goal to break a tie with 10:33 remaining and completed an opening-night hat trick with an empty-netter as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Wednesday.
Claude Giroux and Jordan Weal also scored to get the Flyers off to a good start after missing the playoffs last season. Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere each had three assists for Philadelphia.
Brian Elliott made 32 saves in his first game with the Flyers after signing a $5.5 million, two-year contract this summer.
Kevin Labanc became the first San Jose player to score two goals in the opening period of the season but also was called for three minor penalties that all led to goals for the Flyers. Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who had won seven straight openers.
Martin Jones made 26 saves in San Jose’s first game without Patrick Marleau since April 7, 2009. Marleau, the franchise’s career leading scorer, left as a free agent to sign with Toronto in July.
The Sharks were searching for ways to replace Marleau’s 27 goals and Labanc delivered with his two. But his penalties hurt the cause, including a tripping call in the offensive zone that set up the game-winner.
Just 6 seconds after Labanc went into the box, Simmonds tipped Voracek’s point shot past Jones to make it 4-3. Simmonds then sealed it with his empty-net goal in the final minute.
Simmonds also scored on the power play in the second period after another Labanc penalty to give the Flyers the lead, but San Jose tied it early in the third when Couture’s pass deflected off Andrew MacDonald’s skate and past Elliott for the equalizer.
Jones got off to a rough start for the Sharks, giving the puck away to Voracek on a clearing attempt. That led to Giroux’s goal to open the scoring. Jones also got caught too deep in net when Weal scored on a rush on the power play to make it 2-0.
Labanc showed why coach Peter DeBoer put him on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski by scoring twice in the final three minutes of the period. He batted a rebound in midair past Elliott for his first goal and then scored on a wrister from the top of the circle on the power play to tie it in the final minute of the first.
NOTES: Brent Burns assisted on Couture’s goal for his 500th career point. … The last Sharks player to score twice in an opener was Tommy Wingels in 2014 against Los Angeles.
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