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Sharks’ early frenzy spoils Flyers’ home opener

The Associated Press

The Sharks’ Joe Pavelski, left, scores on Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, center, in the first period on Tuesday.

The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — San Jose went from shut out to blowout in 24 hours.

Joe Pavelski scored two of San Jose’s four first-period goals, and Evander Kane also scored twice to spark the Sharks to an 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

Flyers fans were still buzzing from the pregame festivities for the home opener, which included rookie mascot Gritty rappelling from the rafters to the ice, when the Sharks pounced.

The Flyers turned over the puck at the point, Logan Couture beat the odd-man rush and fired his first goal of the season past Brian Elliott. Pavelski made it 2-0 just 11 seconds later when he knocked in a rebound for his first goal of the season.

The Sharks, a Stanley Cup favorite, were just warming up. They had five goals in their first three games — including a 4-0 loss a night earlier to the New York Islanders — and then scored five goals through two periods.

“It’s good to see us come out, 60-minute game, get a little confidence,” Pavelski said. “Guys had some chances, saw some guys score some goals. That goes a long way, getting one early and get going.”

With the Flyers set to play Wednesday at Ottawa, Elliott stayed in despite the miserable performance in front of him. He faced 31 shots — 31! — over the first two periods. Flyers captain Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier missed open looks in the first that might have made it a game. Instead, they heard 20,000 fans voraciously boo them off the ice to end the period.

Coach Dave Hakstol said he should have benched Elliott, who faced 48 shots, after the second period.

“We left him out to dry. He’s our best player tonight,” Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “It could have been 8-0 after the first. It’s a little ridiculous. Some of us really got to look in the mirror on this team. We’ve got to respond tomorrow. When you leave a guy out to dry like that, it’s really not fair.”

The Flyers might want to skip the replay of this clunker.

San Jose got some help late in the first when replay officials in New York awarded Pavelski his second goal for a 3-0 lead. The puck was in play when Elliott cleared Pavelski’s shot until a whistle stopped the action. Sure enough, the review showed Elliott’s glove was behind the line when he swatted Pavelski’s puck and the no-goal was overturned.

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