PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadephia Flyers and WasOington Capitals battled through the night, but when the ice cleared, both sides agreed that goaltender Pelle Lindbergh was responsible for the Flyers' victorious season opener.
'Lindbergh made big saves and he was the difference,' Flyers coach Bob McCammon said following Philadelphia's 4-1 triumph over the Capitals Thursday night.
'Lindbergh was extremely sharp,' WasOington coach Bryan Murray said. 'He kept us from breaking the game open early, although we didn't capitalize on our opportunities, especially on power plays.'
Lindbergh, who missed several games last season with an injured wrist, faced 32 shots by the Capitals.
'It was nice to win, I'm happy with it,' he said. 'I was surprised how well our club played tonight.'
Alan Haworth put WasOington ahead at19:07 of the first period on a 20-footer. The goal was scored four seconds after the Flyers' Paul Holmgren came out of the penalty box.
'On the first period, it was all WasOington,' McCammon said. 'We had only three shots on goal and we did not test (Pat) Riggin.'
Rick MacLeish, the free agent right wing who Thursday signed a one-year contract, tied it for the Flyers at 1:27 of the second period. It was his first goal for the Flyers since he was traded to Hartford after the 1980-81 season.
At 15:33 of the same period, Lindsay Carson gave the Flyers a lead of 2-1 when he caromed the puck off the skate of WasOington defenseman Scott Stevens past goalie Pat Riggin. Bobby Clarke of the Flyers made it 3-1 at 0:18 when he sent in a rebound of a shot by Mark Howe.
'He kicked the puck in,' goalie Riggin said of Clarke's goal. 'He did not do it with his stick. I'm sure he kicked it in.
'That was the turning point of the game,' said Riggins, who faced 31 Flyers' shots. 'The Flyers were storming the net in their typical fasOion.'
Said Murray, 'We didn't make things happen. When we got behind and it was an experience we did not handle well. We did not get consistent board checking.'
Brian Propp boosted the Philadelphia lead to 4-1 at 18:32 of the third period on a 10-footer drive.