From warmups, you knew this would be the dress rehearsal for the Flyers heading into the season. The battle continued, however, for the final 2 spots on the Flyers opening night roster. The look of the Flyers for this preseason has been a look into the future with at least 2 rookie defensemen dressed in each game. Todays lineup could very well be what we see in San Jose on opening night, on the defensive side at least. However, I think Flyers rookie Oskar Lindblom will get one more chance to show his worth and why he deserves to be a starter on opening night in the preseason finale on Sunday and believe Michael Raffl has been good enough to almost guarantee himself a spot on the opening night roster.
The Flyers lined up front is similar fashion to what we have seen over the preseason. Line combinations were…
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jake Voracek
Jordan Weal – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds
Travis Konecny – Valtteri Filppula – Dale Weise
Jori Lehtera – Scott Laughton – Matt Read
The Flyers lined up on the backend in a season looking defensemen group. Pairings were…
Travis Sanheim – Ivan Provorov
Sam Morin – Shayne Gostisbehere
Radko Gudas – Brandon Manning
This is the first time the Flyers are using this exact lineup but they have used these lines multiple times before. I think the first 3 are set, except for Raffl or Lindblom taking Dale Weise job.
1st period notes…
The Flyers and Bruins both came out very slow. Both teams looked like they knew they were at the end of the preseason and were taking their time getting warmed up to game speed. The Flyers got their first of four powerplays at the 18:16 mark of the period. It was a very poor powerplay only generating 2 shots and no chances. The period continued with another Flyers powerplay at the 14:33 mark. Again, another lack luster powerplay with only 2 shots and no chances. The Flyers got their third powerplay of the period at the 8:35 mark and would finally make Boston pay off the stick of Travis Konecny, who was set up by two beautiful passes from behind the net from Nolan Patrick and then Sean Couturier. Then the Bruins thought they got on the board, when Rob O’Gara shot from the point beat Lyon. However, it was waved off due to a questionable goalie interference by David Krejci. The Flyers then went on their 4th powerplay of the period when really nobody knew who the penalty was on, especially Matt Read, who is on the early season list for blunder moment of the year when he went fully into the penalty box, sat down, just to hear it wasn’t on him. Again, it was a lack luster powerplay, spent mostly in the Flyers own zone. However, the Flyers ended the period with good pressure and were rewarded when Jake Voracek snapped home a shot from the left circle to the back post to beat Rask. Flyers lead 2-0 after the 1st.
Flyers PP Goal 6:48 Travis Konecny Assisted by Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick
Flyers Goal 0:11 Jake Voracek Assisted by Radko Gudas and Claude Giroux
Bruins 18:16 Sean Kuraly 2 min Tripping
Bruins 14:33 David Backes 2 min Tripping
Bruins 8:35 Kenny Agostino 2 min Slashing
Bruins 3:27 Rob O’Gara 2 min High Sticking
2nd Period Notes…
The second period led off the same way as the first, slow and boring. But the Flyers scored first at the 15:09 mark, off the faceoff when Jake Voracek fired a pass across ice to find a streaking Brandon Manning who beat Rask on the far side. Couturier then gave the Bruins their first powerplay on the night at the 12:09 mark, which didn’t help the Bruins chances at all. Wayne Simmonds found the back of the net short-handed on a great feed by Sam Morin who joined the rush to make it 4-0 Flyers. Flyers continued the pressure on the penalty kill and had 2 great chances to after the penalty concluded where Voracek and Couturier were both stopped on the doorstep.Then the fun started. At the 5:25 mark, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, laid a big open ice hit on Flyers Jordan Weal and it went all down hill from there. Manning approached McAvoy to go, but he denied him. This lead to the whistle and some post whistle fun. In the end, Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick dropped the gloves with David Krejci. It was a good fight, both got in quality punches, have to say from my viewpoint, it was a draw. However, during the fight, Wayne Simmonds jumped in on a Colin Miller and Radko Gudas scrum and got himself a 2 min interference penalty and the Bruins went back to the powerplay, their second of the game. Then with 2:52 left in the period, Flyer Matt Read draw a penalty from Bruin Danton Heinen for holding his stick. This lead to the Bruins best scoring chances of the night, when Flyers goalie Alex Lyon robbed Bruins Brad Marchand not once, but twice. Period ends. Flyers 4-0.
Flyers Goal 15:09 Brandon Manning Assisted by Jake Voracek & Claude Giroux
Flyers SH Goal 11:14 Wayne Simmonds Assisted by Sam Morin & Valtteri Filppula
Flyers 12:09 Sean Couturier 2 min Hooking
Flyers 4:49 Wayne Simmonds 2 min Interference + 10 min Misconduct
Flyers 4:49 Nolan Patrick 5 min Fighting
Bruins 4:49 David Krejci 5 min Fighting
Bruins 2:52 Danton Heinen 2 min Holding Stick
Flyers 7 (18)
Bruins 10 (19)
3rd Period Notes…
Bruins came out alive to start the 3rd period. First, they made a goalie change and Malcolm Subban entered the game for Rask. Then at the 19:12, off a great feed from behind the net, David Krejci, fresh out of the box from his 5 min fighting major, found the back of the net. 4-1 Flyers. After that, it was all Flyers again and they went on their 6th powerplay of the game. On the powerplay, the Flyers netted their 2nd powerplay goal of the night when Sean Couturier tipped home a slap pass from Travis Konecny after the Flyers won a corner battle in the zone. After the goal, nothing really happened in the third. The Flyers went on their 7th powerplay of the game and a rare sight happened. The Flyers Jori Lehtera at the 2:34 mark of the 3rd, got called for a faceoff violation, resulting in a 2 min delay of game penalty. Something I have never saw in my life, and had alot of fans and media confused. Game ends 5-1 Flyers.
Bruins Goal 19:12 David Krejci Assisted by Kenny Agostino & David Pastrnak
Flyers Goal 15:54 Sean Couturier Assisted by Travis Konecny & Ivan Provorov
Bruins 17:35 Paul Postma 2 min Hooking
Bruins 14:56 Kevan Miller 2 min Elbowing
Flyers 11:26 Valtteri Filppula 2 min Slashing
Flyers 2:34 Lori Lehtera 2 min Delay of Game (Faceoff Violation)
Flyers 7 (25)
Bruins 13 (32)
3 Stars of the Game
3rd – Claude Giroux
2nd – Travis Konecny
1st – Jake Voracek
The Flyers were on their game from the start. The pressure they had in the early stages, to the 7 powerplays they had, to the short-handed goal, it was all Flyers tonight. It was a great team victory as the Flyers got scoring from all aspects of their game, 5 on 5 : powerplay : penalty kill, and amazing goaltending by Phantoms starter Alex Lyon. Lyon, getting the callup around noon today, was very sharp, playing for the sick Michael Neuvirth.
The Flyers are back at it Sunday night in the preseason finale, here at the Wells Fargo Center @ 5pm against the Islanders.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP