The final tune-up for the Flyers heading into the regular season had its ups but mainly its downs. The Flyers came out flat in both the second and third periods which changed the aspect of the game. To what many believe was the dress rehearsal for the Flyers and the season, seemed more like a waste of time and energy because the Flyers took an extra 5 minutes in the locker room during each of the two intermissions. In both the second and third periods, the Flyers came out flat and gave up 2 goals in the first three minutes of second period and another one in the third. Coach Dave Hakstol used a lineup tonight which many see as the opening night lineup.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jake Voracek
Jordan Weal – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds
Dale Weise – Valterri Filppula – Travis Konecny
Taylor Leier – Scott Laughton – Michael Raffl
Ivan Provorov – Andrew MacDonald
Robert Hagg – Shayne Gostisbehere
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
If we have learned anything from Coach Dave Hakstol over the last 2 seasons, this game lineup will be the opening night lineup. Not only are the players ready for the season to start, with this being the 8th preseason contest on the year for the Flyers, Coach Hakstol said this after the game..
“We had a competitive camp and a real competitive preseason. Tonight is exhibition game #8 and you still want the result. It would have been nice to end on a positive outcome. When you dig into this thing there is an awful lot of good play out of this game here tonight. Now it’s a real thing though. Immediately you have to flip the switch and go to the real thing.”
Now to the game notes.
1st Period Notes…
The Flyers came out flying in the preseason finale and at the 17:38 mark of the 1st, after a great first 2 minutes of pressure, the Flyers got on the board on a beautiful 2 on 1 with a perfect pass from Laughton to Raffl for the goal. After the goal, the Islanders had a good shift, which lead to a Flyers penalty by Nolan Patrick for slashing. However, for the second time in two games, a faceoff violation was called on the opening faceoff of the Islanders powerplay and instead of a Islanders powerplay, we got some 4 on 4 hockey.
The Flyers went back onto the powerplay at the 12:14 mark, when Islanders Adam Pelech got caught for a holding penalty. Nothing came from the powerplay, Flyers only getting 1 shot on goal.
Then, at the 6:50 mark, the Islanders tied the game off the stick of former Flyer Dennis Seidenberg with a fluttering shot from the point that seemed to confuse Brian Elliott.
The Flyers got some great pressure on the next shift when Taylor Leier got robbed on the doorstep and the pressure led to a Flyers powerplay when Ryan Pulock tripped Provorov.
he first unit finally got some great pressure, however still no goal for the 1st unit, which has yet to score a powerplay goal this preseason. Robert Hagg took a slashing penalty to close the end of the period, but the Flyers killed it off. Period ends 1 – 1.
Flyers Goal 17:48 Michael Raffl Assisted by Scott Laughton & Taylor Leier
Islanders Goal 6:50 Denis Seidenberg Assisted by Cal Clutterbuck & Stephen Gionta
Flyers 16:58 Nolan Patrick 2 min Slashing
Islanders 16:58 Casey Cizikas 2 min Delay-Of-Game (Faceoff Violation)
Islanders 12:14 Adam Pelech 2 min Holding
Islanders 5:39 Ryan Pulock 2 min Tripping
Flyers 2:40 Robert Hagg 2 min Slashing
2nd Period Notes…
The Flyers forgot to show up for the beginning of the second period. Just 50 seconds in the period, Konecny got his stick caught up in an Islanders skate for a very silly tripping penalty. The Islanders capitalized on this opportunity and scored a powerplay goal to take the lead.
It got a lot worse at an alarming rate for the Flyers, as Brian Elliott let in a very weak shot off the stick of Beauvillier just 35 seconds later. From that point, the Flyers actually started to play. And the Flyers got their best chance of the period when they went on the powerplay at the 10:10 mark.
The first unit had a 2 min powerplay to themselves with all 2 min in the Islanders zone, however no goal. The period ended with some fireworks, when Flyers Brandon Manning was called for a 2 min boarding penalty and Islanders Josh Ho-Sang jumped Manning to even the penalty’s out. And when you thought it was over, Voracek took a tripping penalty with 4 seconds left in the second. Just a bad way to end the period. Islanders lead 3 -1
Islanders PP Goal 17:38 Anders Lee Assisted by Devon Toews & Josh Ho-Sang
Islanders Goal 16:53 Anthony Beauvillier Assisted by Casey Cizikas & Adam Pelech
Flyers 19:10 Travis Konecny 2 min Tripping
Islanders 10:10 Denis Seidenberg 2 min Cross Checking
Flyers 0:49 Brandon Manning 2 min Boarding
Islanders 0:49 Josh Ho-Sang 2 min Roughing
Flyers 0:04 Jake Voracek 2 min Tripping
Flyers 9 (22)
Islanders 9 (16)
3rd Period Notes…
The Flyers had to kill off a full 2 minute penalty on fresh ice to start the third to make up for the mistake of Jake Voracek taking a silly penalty to close out the second. Like the second, they came out flat and could not. The Islanders netted a powerplay goal of the stick of Anthony Beauvillier, his second on the night, just 30 seconds into the period. From there, the Flyers tried to climb the uphill battle that was ahead of them, overcoming a 4-1 deficit in the third period.
The climb started when Wayne Simmonds scored a powerplay goal, the first powerplay goal for the first unit all preseason. However, the Flyers looked tired after that and could not generate anymore quality chances. The nail in the coffin would come when Simmonds took a weak and unneeded slashing penalty exiting the offensive zone late in the third.
Then, to the dismay of the Wells Fargo Center crowd, Laughton got called for a very weak stick tap. However, under the new NHL slashing rules, it was a slash. Steve Bernier scored an empty netter to seal the game. Game ends 5-2 Islanders.
Islanders PP Goal 19:28 Anthony Beauvillier Assisted by Ryan Pulock & Matthew Barzal
Flyers PP Goal 13:28 Wayne Simmonds Assisted by Shayne Gostisbehere & Jake Voracek
Islanders Goal 0:24 Steve Bernier Assisted by Adam Pelech & Casey Cizikas
Islanders 17:04 Stephen Gionta 2 min Slashing
Islanders 14:40 Scott Mayfield 2 min Elbowing
Islanders 12:39 Brock Nelson 2 min Holding
Flyers 7:55 Wayne Simmonds 2 min Slashing
Flyers 7:15 Scott Laughton 2 min Slashing
Flyers 11 (33)
Islanders 5 (21)
After the game, Wayne Simmonds was asked if he was happy the season starts on Wednesday.
“Yeah, I definitely think we are ready for the start of the season. I think, tonight wasn’t the result we wanted, but I thought we had some good work here. Obviously, we did a lot of good work throughout all of preseason. We had a lot of different faces in and out of the lineup. I thought we did a good job.”
The one somber point of the night was the loan of Oskar Lindblom to the Phantoms. Lindblom, to many reporters, thought was an almost lock for the roster at the start of training camp. But GM Ron Hextall said this about the rookie forward.
“It is not tough. Oskar did a good job in camp and it’s the one thing you try to punctuate with young players. You didn’t fail. You had a good camp but right now the best thing for you and the team is for you to go up there and play well. He was great. He took it very well. Oskar is a good player and American League time hasn’t hurt one player in history of professional hockey. So he will be fine. When you say high expectations you are also talking the kid who came from the big rink, played extremely well but came from a big rink and all of a sudden you get into a smaller rink with big guys, fast guys. Oskar played well.”
In the end, the Flyers ended the preseason with a 3-2-3 record. And now that its over, everything resets and everybody is back to square one.
The Flyers open the season Wednesday night in San Jose on NBCSN @ 10:30pm. However, as of right now, the Flyers stand at 24 players and will have to make one more before Monday at 5pm when rosters are due.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tom Mihalek