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Newcomers impress and Carter Hart solid in net, but Flyers drop preseason opener in OT

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Flyers Islanders

The Philadelphia Flyers kicked off their preseason schedule on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders. It was the first of six games for the Orange and Black before their season opener on October 15th.

Egor Zamula and Maksim Sushko scored for the Flyers in a 3-2 overtime loss. But, in the preseason, it’s more about the individual performances than the outcome.

Let’s get into it.

First period

The Islanders were playing in their second preseason game while the Flyers were getting their feet wet. And it showed early on.

The Flyers’ third line of Isaac Ratcliffe, Connor Bunnaman, and Tyson Foerster got hemmed into their own zone on a few of their first shifts. Third pair Nick Seeler and Egor Zamula were out there as well.

The first power play of the game went to the Islanders as Sean Couturier was called for tripping in the offensive zone. The Flyers killed the penalty with relative ease and even-strength play resumed.

A few minutes later, Keith Yandle drew a tripping penalty to send the Flyers to their first power play.

There wasn’t much going on the first power play. Most of the players the Flyers used on the top unit (Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Keith Yandle, and Oskar Lindblom) have a good chance of being on the top unit during the regular season. James van Riemsdyk will likely replace Lindblom in front.

The Islanders controlled play for most of the period, but the Flyers had a few good shifts. After one period of play, the game was scoreless with the Islanders holding a 12-5 shots on goal advantage.

Second period

The Flyers started the second period with a power play just 38 seconds into the frame. This one was a bit more eventful.

Isaac Ratcliffe took Lindblom’s place on the top unit and it nearly paid immediate dividends. The big winger sent a cross-crease pass to Couturier, who was denied by Corey Schneider. Konecny was there for the rebound, but it wouldn’t go.

Then, with the second unit on the ice, Derick Brassard had a great chance in a similar spot. Unfortunately, the bouncing puck couldn’t be settled and put into the back of the net.

After the power play, the top line had a few chances. Couturier led a one-and-done rush, but then Giroux had a good backhand shot on an odd-man rush.

Then the Flyers struck.

Derick Brassard won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Egor Zamula, whose shot had eyes to open the scoring.

 

After the goal, the second line went right back to work. Lindblom had a good chance at the side of the net before Brassard made a strong defensive play at the other end.

Unfortunately, the Islanders kept play alive in the zone and Adam Pelech scored from the circle to tie the game.

The Flyers had a chance to tie things up a few minutes later on the power play. Sean Couturier was tripped in the neutral zone and the top line still had a decent scoring chance before play was stopped.

This power play was better as well, but they couldn’t convert. And just 20 seconds after the power play expired, the Islanders had a man advantage. Ratcliffe tried to bat the puck but instead clipped Oliver Wahlstrom up high.

Neither team could do much on the man advantage through two periods.

The second period was a better 20 minutes for the Flyers. They led in shots on goal 16-6 to take a 21-18 advantage through two periods.

The end of the second period also marked the end of Carter Hart’s night as he was slated to play the first two periods. He looked sharp in net after a very shaky 2020-21 season. It’s only two preseason periods, but it’s nice to see.

Third period

Samuel Ersson took over in net to start the third period.

The Flyers’ veterans went to work early in the period. The top line had a few good chances in the early stages of the frame, including some extended zone time thanks to a keep at the line by Ryan Ellis.

At the end of the shift, Konecny laid an open-ice hit that the Islanders didn’t take kindly.

 

The second line continued their strong game with Oskar Lindblom picking up another scoring chance.

Unfortunately, Konecny was called for a retaliatory slashing penalty away from the play and the Islanders went on the man advantage.

 

Samuel Ersson made a few good saves, but he couldn’t stop Noah Dobson’s shot from the point. The Islanders took a 2-1 lead on the power-play goal.

The top line only got better as the game moved along and they really kicked it into gear in the third period. They had a few great shifts in the third period with all three of Giroux, Couturier, and Konecny moving the puck well. Ryan Ellis and Ivan Provorov helped out from the blue line, too.

It was then Ryan Ellis who helped create the Flyers’ tying goal. He banked the puck in deep and Maksim Sushko tied it up!

 

The Flyers and Islanders couldn’t find another goal in regulation, and we headed to overtime.

Overtime

Anthony Beauvillier scored on the first shot of overtime, just 22 seconds into the frame.


Quick Takeaways

  • The Flyers’ regulars all looked solid in the preseason opener. In particular, the newcomers impressed.
  • Tonight’s second line of Oskar Lindblom, Derick Brassard, and Cam Atkinson has a great chance of being the team’s third line on opening night.
  • Ryan Ellis was as advertised on the top pair. He was solid in all three zones and assisted on the game-tying goal.
  • The top line had to get their feet under them, but they turned it on as the game moved along. The trio of Giroux, Couturier, and Konecny might be back.
  • Keith Yandle was the other new Flyers defenseman in the game and he played well, too. He’s the power-play quarterback on the top unit and held his own in the defensive end.
  • Last, but certainly not least, was the play of Carter Hart. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but he didn’t need that. It was a smooth 40 minutes of hockey for the young netminder.

The Flyers return to action on Thursday night in Boston. Their next home game is Saturday against the Washington Capitals.


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Ryan is a proud graduate of Monmouth University. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers for the better part of a decade at various outlets, including Sons of Penn and Broad Street Hockey. Ryan has also worked for NHL.com and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Whether it's a GIF, quick stat, analysis, or long-form column, he's got you covered.

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