Before the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, they played a televised White vs Orange exhibition tonight.
Finally, the puck has dropped for Philadelphia Flyers hockey. Tonight, we managed to see the entire roster in action. Players are auditioning for valuable minutes on the Flyers’ roster while others are battling for a chance to be on the taxi squad. Alain Vigneault and his staff are taking the copious notes to fill out the opening night lineup.
While this exhibition has implications for Wednesday night versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, we’re just happy hockey is back!
Starting, head-to-head, was Carter Hart for Team White and Brian Elliott for Team Orange. Hart is playing on the designated away team while Elliott is on the home squad. If we’ve learned anything from 2019-2020, that is a voodoo curse for both goaltenders. It’s better to meet that challenge head-on, even if, in all reality, they’re playing at the Wells Fargo Center.
Within the first ten minutes of the game, Team Orange worked for a high scoring chance. Joel Farabee, in his new #86 sweater, was dialed in early. He zoomed down the wing and let an intelligent drop pass back to Claude Giroux. Giroux found Kevin Hayes closing in, who put the one-timer by Hart. Team Orange scores the all-important first goal.
Around the seven-minute mark of the first period, that same forward line was back at it again. This time, Farabee manufactured a scoring chance from the boards. Winning the forechecking battle, he navigated the puck to Hayes, who stuffed the puck past Hart for his second in the period. Chemistry is the calling card for the Giroux, Hayes, and Farabee line. Vigneault has to be marking them as a keeper for Wednesday.
Franchise defenseman, Ivan Provorov, took a puck off his body. He occupied the crease while Oskar Lindblom let a slapshot go from the point. It was a scary moment, but Provorov skated off to the bench on his own power. Lindblom has some gusto behind that slapshot. Good news that Philadelphia remained unscathed.
Team White needed to hit the pause button on “Hollywood Hayes.” In the second period, they did just that. Carter Hart tightened up his goaltending, and the rest of his team scrapped their way back into the game. The worst lead in hockey haunted Team Orange in the second period.
A little after four minutes into the period, Team White got on the scoreboard. Nicolas Aube-Kubel found a path down the right side of the ice, ripping a shot top shelf on Elliott. He’s a forward that will likely play on the fourth-line in 2020-2021. Adding to a good 2019-2020, Aube-Kubel shows he still is a grinder who can score.
Later in the period featured a moment every Flyers fan was waiting for. Jakub Voracek created some space and found Max Willman on a feed in the slot. Willman, thinking quickly, snuck a pass right to Nolan Patrick, who finished the scoring play. Patrick getting that goal flashed his 2018-2019 brilliance. Team White tied the exhibition, 2-2.
Even strength hockey couldn’t crack either goaltender in the third period. The best opportunity came from a different defenseman who was acting as a forward in tonight’s exhibition. In the early stages of the third period, Philippe Myers tripped Wyatt Wylie as he was on the breakaway, colliding into Hart. Everyone held their breath, but the penalty shot followed. Hart denied Wylie on the penalty shot.
For the final five minutes of the third period, Philadelphia switched to three-on-three hockey. The purpose was to practice for overtime scenarios, but in the exhibition, they’re not playing by sudden death rules. To break the tie, Scott Laughton converted a breakaway goal following a smooth defensive play. Hayes had the puck stripped from him in the neutral zone. Laughton finished with a backhand goal against Elliott.
Under two and a half minutes later, Elliott would get beat again on a breakaway. This time, Myers broke up the offense in the defensive zone before leading a pass to James van Riemsdyk. van Riemsdyk went five-hole on Elliott, giving Team White a 4-2 regulation win.
Flyers; Postgame Shootout
The Flyers put on a shootout display after the regulation victory for Team White. For a goaltender that surrendered back-to-back breakaway goals, Elliott recovered to put on a great shootout performance. Hart remained dialed in since the first period. Through nine rounds, eighteen different players had the chance to score. Only Michael Raffl was able to, rocketing a slapshot by Elliott to send the boys home.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre