Flyers drop first Preseason Game to the Islanders in OT, 3-2
Hockey is finally back. The Philadelphia Flyers opened up their preseason action against the New York Islanders in the first full capacity game in Philadelphia since March 2020. The line combinations for this matchup were as follows:
The Flyers starting lineup for the first two games of the preseason were split into groups, so most of the players who did not play tonight (Frost, York, Farabee, etc…) will see the ice when the Flyers travel up to Boston on Thursday night.
The Flyers kicked off the first period looking a little slow and were getting hemmed in after a couple of failed zone exits. Bunnaman’s line in particular seemed to have a tough time getting their legs going at the start; luckily Carter Hart made all the saves asked of him and looked sharp.
Shoutout to Hart for a couple of early saves after the #Flyers have been hemmed in their zone for a couple of shifts— TLY (@TheLibertyYell) September 28, 2021
Brassard line with some nice pressure
Lindblom-Brassard-Atkinson had some jump early in the period and showed their ability to drive play and forecheck hard. Just as the first line finally started to get things clicking, Couturier took a tripping penalty that was promptly killed. Ryan Ellis made his presence felt with some key blocked shots in the first period.
The Flyers got a look on the powerplay in this period and the combinations for those were:
PP1: Lindblom, Couturier, Giroux, Konecny, Yandle.
PP2: Atkinson, Brassard, Foerster, Ellis, Provorov.
For all the skepticism I immediately had on placing Ellis and Provorov on the second unit together, that actually were the highlight of that particular powerplay with some solid puck movement.
The second period started off with the Lindblom line getting right back to work on the forecheck causing the Islanders to panic and take a penalty. Derick Brassard created a choatic chance in the crease that couldn’t quite find the back of the net, but the powerplay was moving well.
Giroux’s line had an odd man rush which they couldn’t finish on, but shortly after Zamula fired a wrist shot from the point that got through a Lindblom screen and in to the net for a 1-0 lead. Assisted by newcomer Derick Brassard.
Zamula was definitely a standout player in this game, bringing a bit of a calming presence and good physicality on the boards.
Brassard connected on another cross-crease pass to Lindblom that was somehow saved by Cory Schneider, and the Islanders took it the other way and would eventually tie the game on a point shot from Adam Pelech. The Islanders would seize most of the momentum in the period from there outside of another Flyers powerplay that just couldn’t get the finish.
Carter Hart was only scheduled to play two periods of action in this game so at the start of the third period Samuel Ersson filled in. Hart finished with only one goal allowed and made some sharp saves.
Giroux’s line came out with energy in the third period and applied the pressure on the forecheck, but just couldn’t execute. After a slashing penalty to Konecny, the Islanders would take the lead on a powerplay goal by Dobson.
Late in the period, Maksim Sushko tied the game up for the Flyers on a slick wraparound goal that was assisted by both Ryan Ellis and Ivan Provorov.
The Flyers appeared to turn on the jets after the tying goal and put together high energy shifts. German Rubtsov had a couple of notable moments in this period as well which is fantastic to see from him. Unfortunately, the Flyers weren’t able to score again the rest of the way and the Islanders would win the game in overtime just 22 seconds in from Anthony Beauvillier. Ersson finished the game with 9 saves on 11 shots.
- Although they did not score, the powerplay was without a doubt fun to watch and that’s not even the regular units.
- Ellis and Provorov were snapping the puck around off the start as was Keith Yandle.
- Lindblom-Brassard-Atkinson impressed me the most in this one and I cannot wait to watch those pests again.
- Let’s keep an eye on what Zamula does from here, he really impressed me in this game.
- Giroux line looked like it had some rust they needed to shake off, but that’s nothing insane.
- It’s great to watch Carter Hart again
- Derick Brassard had himself a standout game and I found myself saying “Man, I’m glad he’s on my team” multiple times.
Next game is on Thursday against Boston on NHL on TNT. Let’s roll.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Flyers