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5 Observations: Flyers Fall to Isles in OT, Finish 1-4-1 in Preseason

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Philadelphia Flyers
Josh Bailey scores a power-play goal on a second-period scramble as Flyers goalie Troy Grosenick couldn't control the puck Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Flyers finished their preseason with a 1-4-1 record after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss against the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

It was a preseason in which new coach John Tortorella stressed conditioning and defense.

A preseason in which the Flyers’ offense was a work in progress.

A preseason in which injuries and losses mounted.

The Islanders’ Anders Lee tied it at 3-3 on a deflection with 7:41 left in regulation. New York then won it in overtime on Noah Dobson’s power-play goal with 7.3 seconds remaining.

Here are five observations from Philly’s fifth straight defeat:

1. Tanner Laczynski made a strong case to become the fourth-line center.

Laczynski, 25, has quietly had a solid camp, and has been one of the Flyers’ most physical players.

He snapped a 2-2 tie with 11:07 remaining in regulation Tuesday by beating Ilya Sorokin on a breakaway. Laczynski, who had two hip surgeries last year, was on a feisty line with Nic Deslauriers and Zack MacEwen. The trio combined for nine hits in the game.

Laczynski, a former Ohio State standout, showed his speed as he burst ahead of a defender on his breakaway.

2. Cam York’s spot is in jeopardy.

York, a promising defenseman,  allowed veteran Casey Cizikas to muscle past him and score a shorthanded goal with 1:38 left in the second, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

Earlier in the day, Tortorella said he needed more from York, 21, who has not had a good camp. It’ll be interesting to see if he starts the season with the Flyers, or if he goes to the Phantoms for some seasoning and Nick Seeler lands on Philly’s third pairing. Seeler had five hits, two blocked shots, and was plus-1 in 17:32 Tuesday.

In five preseason games, York was point-less and was minus-6.

3. Scott Laughton showed his quickness and his breakaway skill.

The center scored a shorthanded goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead early in the second. He made his patented breakaway move and slid the puck between Sorokin’s legs.

After the first intermission, Laughton (two points, plus-2) said the training camp has been “demanding,” and a “physical and mental grind.” He added that the players arrived at camp in great shape.

“We’re looking forward to the season, and kind of turning the page on the past,” Laughton said.

4. Sam Ersson helped his bid to be on the opening-night roster.

This is not a recording: Ersson had another quality game, showing poise beyond his years. He stopped all 15 shots he faced while playing half the game. The almost-23-year-old Swede finished with a .950 save percentage in the preseason, turning aside 57 of 60 shots.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ goalie situation is a bit murky. Carter Hart and Felix Sandstrom both suffered unspecified injuries in camp. Hart said he will be fine for the Oct. 13 opener. Sandstrom, who has had an outstanding camp, felt better the last two days, Tortorella said, but still was not available Tuesday.

Stay tuned.

5. Owen Tippett is no longer snakebitten.

After being acquired in the Claude Giroux trade at last year’s trade deadline, Tippett created lots of chances, but had a difficult time finishing. He had four goals in 21 games with the Flyers last season.

The same thing has happened in preseason games this year — until he knotted the score at 2-2 with 14:55 to go in the third. Taking a perfect feed from Kevin Hayes, Tippett finished a two-on-one by whipping a shot into an open net from the left side.

Tippett has had a slew of chances in the first two periods, including three at the doorstep. He finished with seven shots — and a much-needed confidence boost.

 

Breakaways

Travis Sanheim played 27:49 and blocked three shots. … Troy Grosenick allowed four goals on 18 shots. … The Philadelphia Flyers had a strong first period, getting four point-blank chances during a scoreless session. “We were making things happen, and covering them, too,” Laughton said. “I think that’s what makes a good game for our team — simplicity. ” … Noah Cates (minus-2) had six hit and was in the middle of several scoring chances. … Jackson Cates’ hooking penalty put the Islanders on their game-winning power play. … Ronnie Attard (6-foot-3, 208), fighting the much bigger Ross Johnston (6-5, 230), dropped a second-period bout … The Flyers are expected to make numerous roster cuts Wednesday.

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