Flyers-NYI Wrap; Quick Hits for 9/18/19
Wrapup: Islanders 3 - Flyers 2 (OT)
The Philadelphia Flyers led most of the way but were unable to close out the New York Islanders in the third period and went down to a 3-2 overtime defeat at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night. The game was a rematch of Monday's preseason opener in Philadelphia (a 3-1 New York victory) but featured an entirely different Islanders lineup and a B-team Flyers lineup with minimal regulars and four players who played both ends of the back-to-back.
Carter Hart stopped all 14 shots he faced in 20:02 of action before giving way to J.F. Berube (20 saves on 23 shots). Thomas Greiss stopped 14 of 15 shots before Jared Coreau (10 saves on 11 shots) took over at the same time Berube entered the game.
Michael Raffl (1st) and Maksim Sushko (1st) scored deflection goals for the Flyers. Chris Bigras got the two primary assists. Nate Prosser and Nicolas Aube-Kubel chipped in one secondary helper apiece.
Mason Jobst (1st) won the game with an overtime rebound goal after Derick Brassard (1st) and Jordan Eberle (1st) scored for the Islanders in regulation. Mathew Barzal had a pair of assists, and Noah Dobson and Anders Lee had one.
A re-direct goal by Raffl early in the first period stood as the stanza's only tally. Shots were 6-6 in a period that saw relatively few prime scoring chances for either side but the Flyers enjoyed some sustained pressure and puck possession in the New York end of the ice.
Both teams had their chances in the middle frame -- including a four-minute power play for the Flyers -- but neither side was able to find the net. Second period shots were 16-13 in the Flyers' favor.
Brassard briefly tied the game at 1-1 at 6:52 of the third period. Sushko tipped one in while setting a screen to restore the lead at 8:23. The Flyers were unable to prevent Eberle from tying the game on a 6-on-5 attack with 1:34 remaining in regulation. Third period shots were 15-3 in New York's favor.
The Islanders had three of the four shots in OT. Jobst's rebound goal ended the game.
Final shots were 37-26 in New York's favor. The Flyers went 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Flyers had four players -- German Rubtsov, Mikhail Vorobyev, Maksim Sushko and Chris Stewart -- who appeared both in Monday and Tuesday's games. Among the relatively few number of returning players from last year's team to dress for the second game, Travis Sanheim (26:43 TOI) was partnered with Robert Hägg (seven shot attempts, three shots on goal), Scott Laughton (10-for-16 on faceoffs), Raffl and Hart were in the game.
* Carter Hart made good early saves on Kyle MacLean and Oliver Wahlstrom. Apart from one preventable rebound -- which the defense cleaned up immediately -- Hart was sharp on the rare times he was tested in the first period.
* A clean faceoff win by Scott Laughton against Mathew Barzal started the sequence that led to the game's first goal. From the slot, Michael Raffl re-directed a drive by Chris Bigras at 3:30.
* Andy Andreoff and Nicolas Aube-Kubel tried to set a physical tone in the first period.... A Connor Bunnaman shot from the right side of the net was the lone Flyers shot on their first power play... Laughton was shaken up on a hit midway through the period but went to the bench under his own power and returned to the ice..... Raffl pressured a turnover by the Islanders in their own end. Laughton pounced on the puck but hammered a shot wide of the net.
* Strong two-way period for rookie hopeful German Rubtsov. He was almost always in the right position on both sides of the puck, and very involved in the play. Fellow second-year pro David Kase also had had some solid shifts.
* The opening period was a pretty sloppy one for New York. Some of it was no doubt due to rust. But the Flyers, despite the deceptive 6-6 shot total and sparsity of prime scoring chances for either side, had the better puck pressure and territorial possession. As with Monday's first period, there wasn't a whole lot of flow to the first period.
* The Flyers received a four-minute power play early in the second period after Barzal high-sticked Mikhail Vorobyev in the mouth, drawing blood. The Flyers generated massive pressure, and seven shots on goal, but couldn't bag a goal. Most notably, Bunnaman got hit with an Aube-Kubel shot, and the puck bounced off crossbar and into crease but didn't go in.
* After a Chris Stewart tripping penalty near the Islanders' blueline put the Flyers shorthanded for the first time, Hart authored a pair of saves on the kill. Hart's 14th and final save came as he tracked a shot through traffic flawlessly. The whistle blew at 10:02 of the period as Hart held onto the puck, and both teams teams changed goalies at the stoppage.
* Continuing a strong all-around performance, Rubtsov unfortunately hit the left post from the lower left circle leading a 3-on-1 counterattack off an Islanders turnover.
* Travis Sanheim continued to log a lot of ice time. He activated a few times in the offensive zone in this period.
* Berube faced several tough chances after taking over for Hart.
* Kurtis Gabriel dropped the gloves with Ross Johnston at 15:20 after the two did battle in the Islanders end. Johnston was the aggressor. The Islander did not receive an instigation penalty. He did get a 10-minute misconduct tacked onto his fighting major.
* Gabriel appeared to be injured early in the third period on a hit by Anders Lee. Gabriel's left leg got pinned under him as he went awkwardly into the boards, and he could not put much weight on it as he limped to the tunnel. TJ Brennan went to his teammate's defense, confronting Lee. Brennan received an extra minor penalty on a double-roughing. The Flyers killed it off and then went to a power play of their own on a Brassard minor.
* The power play went poorly for the Flyers. They generated no pressure. Late in the man advantage, Berube had to come up big to rob Michael Dal Colle on a point-blank chance. However, shortly after his penalty expired, Brassard roofed a shot from a sharp angle to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:52 of the third period.
* The Flyers bounced back at 8:23. A screening Sushko tipped a Bigras point shot off a feed from Nicolas Aube Kubel to restore the lead at 2-1. It was one of only three shots Philly generated in the period, which was largely spent in the Flyers' end of the ice.
* With the Islanders' net empty for a 6-on-5 attack, the Flyers did a poor job at trying to close the game out; doing too much chasing and watching. Eberle found a seam and didn't miss from the slot with 1:34 left off a Barzal feed.
* Alain Vigneault gave some OT ice time to the youngsters in the Flyers' lineup, just as he gave power play looks to personnel that would likely not appear on power plays at the NHL level.
* On the attack, Sushko lost the puck to the Islanders' checking in the corner, which started the sequence that ultimately ended the game as Jobst counterattacked and, with a lot of operating room to make a play, worked a give-and-go with Lee. Berube was unable to corral the rebound of Lee's shot from just above the right circle. Jobst walked right in and tapped home the loose puck from the crease to end the game at 4;07 of the extra frame.
Quick Hits: September 18, 2019
1) Wednesday is an off-day for the Flyers' healthy players who have participated throughout camp. Rehabbing players will be at the rink and Travis Konecny will be on-hand to skate and to catch up on the video review sessions and drill explanations that he missed during his three-day absence while his contract was being hammered out with the Flyers.
2) Morgan Frost (groin, day-to-day) was held off the ice for an extra day on Tuesday. He worked out off the ice.
3) There may be some roster cuts made on Wednesday among the junior players still in the Flyers' camp. Among the CHL-eligible players, defenseman Egor Zamula has been the biggest standout in camp. AHL-level cuts will begin over the weekend.
4) Konecny said of his absence and new six-year contract, "You want to be there with [teammates]. You want to go through the process with them. Go through the hard stuff. You want to do it with everybody. But I guess it's part of it, part of the process. Thankfully, I'm here now, [and] I wasn't gone for too long."
Konecny skated with the non-game group on Tuesday. Afterwards, he stayed on the ice with the team's new skills coach, Angelo Ricci, for some extra work.
"It wasn't too in-depth today, the practice," Konecny said. "We just kind of played hockey; read and react. But if you guys watched it, I didn't look too great out there. Bobbling the puck a little bit. But it's just rust. It'll come back. Just have to be patient right now."
5) On Wednesday morning at the Skate Zone, Chris Therien and I will record the next edition of the Bundy & Bill podcast for Flyers Radio 24/7. Before the Flyers depart for Europe, the next edition of Broadcasters Roundtable will be recorded by Tim Saunders, Jim Jackson, Steve Coates, Chris and me.
6)Prospect Update Part 1: On Tuesday in the SHL, Linköping staged a 4-3 comeback victory on home ice to defeat Brynäs. Winger Olle Lycksell, a Flyers prospect got the ball rolling for Linköping as he cut a 2-0 deficit in half early in the second period with a nice play to fend off a check moving down the left wing and a shot that found the back of the net from the bottom of the circle. Flyers 2018 second-round pick Adam Ginning was tossed from the game for fighting late in the second period (a fighting major carries an automatic game misconduct in the Swedish league). Flyers goaltending prospect served as the backup for Brynäs to Joacim Eriksson (himself a former Flyers draftee). Eriksson has started both regular season games to date for BIF.
7) Prospect Update Part 2: Flyers 2018 first-round pick Jay O'Brien scored an end-to-end overtime goal on Saturday to conclude a 4-3 road overtime win for his Penticton Vees over the Prince George Spruce Kings in BCHL action last Saturday. After being held without a point in his BCHL regular season debut, the Boston University bound (starting as a sophomore in 2020-21) O'Brien has three goals and five points over his last three games. The team returns to action on Saturday evening.
8) Sept. 18 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Darryl Sittler (1950), Lasse Kukkonen (1981), Jared Ross (1982).