What we learned in the Flyers preseason opener


The Philadelphia Flyers begin their preseason against the New York Islanders. Who stood out in the Flyers’ return to the Wells Fargo Center?

Impressions go a long way. Tonight, business picked up. Chuck Fletcher and company will have evaluated players, offering the olive branch to the ones who can contribute.

“This is where decisions are made and players make those decisions for us by how they play.”

Tyson Foerster had an opportunity to show what he could do against NHL players. He’s been incredible during development camp, rookie camp, and training camp thus far.

Returning to the Wells Fargo Center were former Philadelphia Flyers Andy Andreoff and Cole Bardreau. You thought I was going to say, Erik Gustafsson, didn’t you? He’s on a professional tryout with the New York Islanders but not in the lineup tonight against his former team. In his place are other defensemen competing for ice time, like Sebastian Aho and Robin Salo.

First Period

The New York Islanders looked like a team who played a preseason game already, and the Philadelphia Flyers looked like they were getting their legs under them. Overall, a stalemate.

On the broadcast, Jim Jackson stated how Barry Trotz acknowledged the Islanders had not been working on any special teams during camp. The Flyers were shorthanded on a Sean Couturier tripping call and the powerplay due to a Michael Dal Colle interference penalty. To finish the first period, Philadelphia and the Islanders were perfect on the penalty kill.

Justin Braun was on the delivering end of a few good hits behind Carter Hart. Travis Konecny was on the receiving end of a knock by Andy Andreoff and Cole Bardreau. These two divisional rivals are known to get chippy. They’re not waiting for the regular season.

Hart moved smoothly and efficiently through the first period, keeping every puck he faced out of the net. The Islanders mustered more shots on goal than the Flyers in the first. Watching Hart get to his spots, anticipating pucks, you could tell he was finding his groove. All that you can ask for from Hart is better rebound control.

At the end of the first, neither team scored.

Second Period

More of the same in the second period from both teams, but with limited scoring. The Philadelphia Flyers struck first when Yegor Zamula sent a wrist shot from the top corner of the blue line. Derick Brassard won the faceoff leading to that goal, notching an assist.

A little less than three and a half minutes later, the New York Islanders answered back with a defenseman of their own. Adam Pelech sniped over the blocker to tie the game.

Both teams had opportunities on special teams once again. In the end, both penalty kill units remained perfect. Ivan Provorov and Ryan Ellis are very smooth on the powerplay. All they need to do is convert. Both seem more decisive with the puck, mixing in a healthy dose of Cam Atkinson.

Before the end of the second period, Nick Seeler blocked a pass with his face. He remained on the ice completing the penalty kill. Seeler is one of the veterans fighting for a seventh defenseman role while Samuel Morin is out. He’s proven his toughness, at the least.

At the end of two, the scoreboard shows 1-1.

Third Period

Samuel Ersson relieved Carter Hart at the start of the period, as scheduled. He took on the brunt of the New York Islanders offense, who managed every shot on goal for the first eight minutes of the third.

Noah Dobson put the Islanders ahead with a powerplay goal. Surprisingly, the team that admitted they hadn’t worked on any special teams in training camp scored the lone powerplay goal while remaining perfect on the penalty kill. Ersson didn’t have much of a chance at saving Dobson’s rocket from the blue line. Travis Konecny committed the penalty to put the Philadelphia Flyers a man down. He slashed the stick out of Adam Pelech‘s hands after Claude Giroux took a hit.

Down, but not out, the Flyers would score the equalizer with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. Maksim Sushko scored on a wrap-around goal. Ken Appleby was seemingly on fire before Sushko snuffed his flame.

If this were the regular season, Philadelphia would have earned a point in the standings.


Anthony Beauvillier scored on the first rush for the New York Islanders. One shot and one goal. The Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime, 3-2.

Up Next

Next for the Philadelphia Flyers are the Boston Bruins on Thursday. You can watch the telecast on TNT starting at 7:30pm.

Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre