FLYERS UNABLE TO PROTECT 2-0 LEAD, FALL 3-2 in OT TO RANGERS
The Philadelphia Flyers were unable to protect a 2-0 lead in the third period and went down to a 3-2 overtime defeat to the New York Rangers in a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle capped off the win by scoring a penalty shot goal at 1:16 of overtime after Chris Kreider knotted the game with just 1:07 remaining in the third period. Dan Girardi scored early in the third period to start the comeback.
Flyers goaltender Steve Mason deserved a better fate; a common theme on the road last season. He was outstanding in turning back 40 of 42 shots in regulation, and had little to no chance to stop either New York goal. Philadelphia got significantly outplayed in the first and third periods but Mason put them in position to win if they'd given him a little better defensive support with the game on the line.
Mark Streit gave the Flyers an early lead on their first shot of the game. Wayne Simmonds notched a power play goal in the second period to extend the advantage to two goals.
Top line Flyers left winger Raffl left the game and did not return after a shift with about seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second period. According to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, the player sustained an upper-body injury. The injury may have occurred on a big hit on boards by Ryan McDonagh.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at 4:18 of the first period. Michael Raffl made an outstanding backchecking play in the defensive zone and play swung the other way. Shortly thereafter, Raffl then provided a screen as Streit received a pass from Voracek and fired a shot past Raanta for his first goal of the preseason. Voracek and Raffl received the assists.
Mason played an excellent first period; the best player on the ice for either team in the early going. New York outshot Philadelphia by a 16-5 margin in the opening period and had two power plays to none for the Flyers but Philly took a 1-0 lead to the first intermission.
The Flyers started to generate a little more pressure in the second period, and received the game's next three power plays. On the third power play, they cashed in to make it a 2-0 lead.
On the goal sequence, Simmonds used quick hands to win a loose puck battle in crease off a Brayden Schenn feed. Streit got the secondary assist. Time of the goal was 17:59.
As the second period progressed, Mason continued to erase occasional mistakes in front of him. Meanwhile, Raanta made good saves on Simmonds in front and on Matt Read off a wraparound attempt prior to the Simmonds power play goal. New York got a power play in the final minute that carried over into the third period.
Shots in the second period were 12-8 in the Flyers' favor; 24-17 in the Rangers' favor overall.
Both teams traded odd-man rushes during a 4-on-4 in the early minutes of the third period. Neither team scored but the Rangers got on the board shortly thereafter to cut the gap to 2-1.
An untouched Girardi pinched all the way down to the lower right slot and knocked home a rebound that pinballed directly to him. Mason had no chance to stop the goal at 4:21. Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello got the assists.
Midway through the third period, Voracek had an excellent scoring denied by a hook from Dan Boyle -- not a bad penalty to take -- after beating the defenseman off the rush. On the ensuing power play, Claude Giroux fanned on an open one-timer and then took a tripping penalty.
With 1:07 left in the third period, the Rangers won a right circle offensive zone faceoff. The initial shot bounced around directly to Kreider, who was all alone near the left post to tie the game at 2-2. Stepan and Nash received the assists. Among other culprits, Scott Laughton, who had played very well most of the night, lost the draw and then lost his check.
Shots in the third period were 18-12 Rangers; 42-29 Rangers through regulation. The game moved to 3-on-3 overtime.
Voracek was slow to get up after getting his skate knocked out from under him by Nash in overtime; it should have been a penalty. Voracek went back to the bench.
Yandle was awarded a penalty shot on a semi-breakaway at 1:16 of overtime as referee Evgeny Romasko ruled he'd been hooked from behind by Laughton. The offensive defenseman converted a shot high to Mason's stick side to win the game for New York. Final shots on the night were 44-29 Rangers.
* Per the Flyers, Sean Couturier is day-to-day with an upper body injury. In other words, the slash behind the right knee he took from Jarret Stoll in last Tuesday's game in not the cause of the injury. Couturier is expected to be ready to play by opening night of the regular season.
* Michal Neuvirth participated in the morning skate in Voorhees but was the first player off the ice despite not being scheduled to start in New York.Phantoms goaltender Jason LaBarbera, who was not at the morning skate, The Flyers officially deemed Neuvirth's absence a maintenance day.
* The Flyers went 1-for-6 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
* Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol put Scott Laughton to the test early. Laughton's line frequently matched up against New York's top unit with Derek Stepan, Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. Laughton had a strong overall game, both at even strength and on the power play. However, he was one of the Flyers on the ice during the sequence that led to Chris Kreider's tying goal.
* Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh got hit in the face with a puck as he sat on the bench in the first period. He went off for repairs and returned to the game.
* Radko Gudas had a rough game, and finished minus-two. In two of his first four shifts, he got out of position or got beaten by a forward. He also had an early giveaway. Defense partner Andrew MacDonald also had his share of problems on this night.
* With two penalties to kill and no Flyers' power plays, Sam Gagner and Wayne Simmonds only got four shifts in the first period; 3:01 and 3:33 TOI respectively
* Michael Raffl started out the game on the Flyers' top power play unit, playing the spot occupied last season by Brayden Schenn. Later, Schenn got back on the top unit prior to Raffl's injury. After Raffl left the game, Schenn took over the left wing spot on the top line.
* During a television timeout in the second period,Steve Mason discovered there was a price tag hanging from the sleeve of his jersey; he laughed and removed it to the amusement of teammates on the bench.
* With 2:07 left in the second period, Viktor Stålberg crashed into Mason after being bumped by Andrew MacDonald. The Flyers took exception and Stålberg received a goaltender interference penalty.
* Both Schenn brothers took exception to Derek Stepan bumping defenseman Luke from behind with his face the boards early in the third period. Luke Schenn, who was uninjured, received a roughing penalty.
* Claude Giroux logged 20:52 of ice time, including three minutes of power play time.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms opened training camp at the PPL Center in Allentown on Monday. With first-year head coach Scott Gordon at the helm, 34 players (not counting injured defenseman Christian Marti) are in camp.
On the first day of camp, the players practiced in two groups. The Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate opens its three-game preseason schedule on Wednesday.
Phantoms writer Tony Androckitis posted a report
on the day's line combinations. Most notably, Taylor Leier and Chris Conner skated the wings on Tim Brent's line. Shayne Gostisbehere was paired with Mark Alt on defense.