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5 Observations: Flyers Whip Isles in Final Preseason Tune-up; TK Shines



Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia Flyers
Tyson Foerster and the Flyers ended their preseason schedule Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center. The right winger is trying to win a roster spot. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers ended their preseason schedule Thursday with a 3-2-1 record after a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five observations:

1. Tyson Foerster played well in his final preseason attempt to impress the Flyers’ brass.

Was it enough to earn a roster spot.? That will be known in the coming days. Teams have until 5 p.m. Monday to make their roster decisions.

Foerster, 21, who appears to be in a battle with Bobby Brink for a roster spot, had an assist and two shots in 16:15. He began the game on the top line with Sean Couturier and Joel Farabee.

“He’s pretty old, I guess,” Foerster said about the 30-year-old Couturier before the game, “but he still moves like he’s young.”

Coach John Tortorella liked what he saw from Foerster in the preseason.

“I thought he had a good camp and did a lot of little things that I’m looking for, too,” he said.

Curiously, Brink didn’t play in the game. The diminutive winger has been impressive, collecting three points in his four preseason games. He was with Couturier and Farabee in the previous game.

2. The defense was effective, even without Risto.

All during the preseason, Tortorella said he wants to incorporate some youngsters onto the defense. Yet, he had planned to have Emil Andrae and Egor Zamula among the healthy scratches Thursday.

That changed just before the game when it was reported Rasmus Ristolainen was slightly injured and held out for precautionary reasons.

Andrae (two shots, plus-1) took his spot.

Ristolainen is expected to be in the lineup, along with mostly veterans on defense, when the rebuilding Flyers start the season Thursday in Columbus.

The defensive pairings against the Isles: Travis Sanheim and Cam York, Nick Seeler and Andrae; and Marc Staal and Sean Walker.

Earlier in the day, Tortorella said Thursday’s lineup — then projected to have Ristolainen playing — wasn’t necessarily the one he will use for the opener.

“I’m not sure. I still don’t know what it is,” he said.

3. Carter Hart was fairly solid in his final tune-up for the opener.

Hart stopped 14 of 16 shots, including a breakaway by rookie Matt Maggio late in the game. Earlier, he turned the puck over behind his net, leading to an Islanders goal.

The 25-tear-old goaltender played one other full game in the preseason, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Devils on Sept. 30. He stopped 19 of 22 shots in the game.

4. After starting the preseason in embarrassing fashion, the Flyers recovered nicely.

Philly began its preseason with a 6-0 loss to the Devils. The Flyers were highly competitive in the other five games, a good sign for the start of the season.

The Isles did not use their “A” lineup Thursday. Still, the Philadelphia Flyers looked cohesive again.

The Flyers had a 31-16 shot domination, led by winger Travis Konecny’s five shots and speedy center Ryan Poehling’s four. Poehling, 24, a former first-round draft selection, was especially impressive in the preseason, directing an effective fourth line that included Nic Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway (assist, four hits).

“I liked our checking,” Tortorella said. “I know it’s not against a full Islanders lineup, but I just liked the attention to the checking part of it.”

After their 6-0 loss in New Jersey, the Flyers outscored their last five opponents, 17-11, and had points in their last four games.

5. The Flyers displayed a balanced attack, something they will need to do this season.

Five different players scored for the Flyers: Deslauriers, Noah Cates, Owen Tippett, Konecny (two points, plus-2) and Cam Atkinson. Morgan Frost contributed a pair of assists and was plus-2.

Atkinson and Sean Couturier (assist) had solid camps after missing last season with injuries.

“I was glad we finished on a good note,” Konecny said. “We’re going to still have some practices here (before the opener), and that’s going to be important, too.”

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