James van Riemsdyk – Claude Giroux – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Kevin Hayes – Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl – Morgan Frost – Joel Farabee
Carsen Twarynski – Scott Laughton – Chris Stewart
Ivan Provorov – Travis Sanheim
Robert Hagg – Matt Niskanen
Samuel Morin – Mark Friedman
Carter Hart – J-F Berube
Kurtis Gabriel (lower body), Nolan Patrick (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Andy Welinski (lower body)
For the final time this 2019 NHL pre-season, the Flyers took to home ice at the Wells Fargo Center looking for their first win of this week’s exhibition games.
With a lineup looking quite a bit more like it will on opening night, after Alain Vigneault made massive cuts on Friday in order to get his veteran players more ice time, fans seemed excited to see Carter Hart start for the first time this season at home and watch Travis Konecny take the ice for the first time since signing his new contract. In fact, in order to really get a full view of what his team is doing well and what needs improvement, Vigneault opted to watch this game from the team’s executive suite, leaving the bench duties to Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo.
The opening period wasn’t exceptionally special for either team during the first 10-12 minutes of play…well, except for when Chris Stewart dropped the gloves less than 90 seconds into the game in a continuing effort to earn a roster spot in Philadelphia.
After that the Flyers seemed to spend plenty of time in the penalty box, but their PK units continued to succeed in keeping pucks out of Philly’s net. When the Rangers finally took their first penalty, the home team wasted no time in capitalizing on it. James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek completed a perfect tic-tac-toe sequence, which ended in the puck deflecting off Jacob Trouba‘s skate and into his own net, for JVR’s second goal of the pre-season.
Moments later, with less than a minute left in the period, Kevin Hayes scored his first goal in a Philadelphia sweater when he deflected Voracek’s shot past Igor Shesterkin to make it 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, it was all Flyers all the time. Players were shooting the puck at every opportunity and, while many found iron more times than not, Carsen Twarynski was rewarded with his first goal as he knocked in his own rebound in mid-air to make it 3-0 for the Flyers.
This middle frame made it more obvious that Philadelphia had iced many of its starters, while the Rangers had a mostly “B” squad on the ice. The Flyers outshot the Rangers 21-5 in the period. As the teams went to intermission, Hart remained perfect in the preseason, stopping all 11 shots he faced in this game, including some tense moments with a lot of traffic in the crease. J-F Berube would take his place in the third period.
The Rangers managed to slow the game down a bit in the third period, and even outshot the Flyers 8-7, but that didn’t stop Philadelphia’s scoring momentum. For the second time in the game, the team managed to convert a power play when Voracek buried a one-timer glove side to give his team a 4-0 lead.
New York would eventually avoid the shutout when Nick Jones went bar down on a big shot from the point, but it would be their only tally.
Overall, Vigneault’s moves to severely cut down the roster and get a lot of the veteran players into the game proved to be exactly what the team needed to find some spark and some chemistry. But young players like Twarynski, Morgan Frost, and Joel Farabee also stood out, making strong cases for staying on the big club’s roster.
Plus / Minus
▲ Carsen Twarynski, Carter Hart, Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
▼ Michael Raffl