Flyers-Islanders preseason observations: An uninspiring effort in finale

Flyers-Islanders preseason observations: An uninspiring effort in finale


With their prized prospects watching from the press box and playing mainly with an NHL roster Sunday, the Flyers didn't exactly close out the preseason with a bang, losing, 5-2, to the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

Playing without Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim or Oskar Lindblom for the first time during the exhibition season, the Flyers looked flat and uninterested in their final preseason tuneup.   

The Flyers closed out the preseason with a 3-2-3 record, losing three of those games to the Islanders in three different buildings. They dropped the preseason opener at Nassau Coliseum and lost a split-squad game at the Barclays Center. 

After the game, the Flyers assigned Lindblom to AHL Lehigh Valley, while general manager Ron Hextall said Nolan Patrick and Robert Hagg made the team.

• The Islanders quickly built a two-goal lead in the opening minutes of the second period, scoring twice in a span of 45 seconds. Anders Lee jumped on Devon Toews' slap shot that hit off the backboards and backhanded the puck past Brian Elliott. New York’s power-play goal gave the Isles a 2-1 lead. They increased that margin to 3-1 when Anthony Beauvillier took a pass from Casey Cizikas and fired a shot that slipped under Elliott’s blocker arm.    

• New York quickly jumped out to a three-goal lead as they converted a 4-on-3 power play when Beauvillier whistled a one-timer top shelf over Elliott giving the Islanders a 4-1 lead.

• The Flyers cut the Isles' lead in half to 4-2 when Wayne Simmonds redirected Shayne Gostisbehere’s shot from the point for a power-play goal. The Flyers finished the game 1 for 6 on the man advantage. 

• The Flyers jumped on the board first when their fourth line converted a 2-on-1 break, as Scott Laughton fed Michael Raffl on the right side that easily beat goaltender Thomas Greiss.

• Playing without captain John Tavares and three of their top defensemen, the Islanders responded with 6:50 remaining in the opening period when Dennis Seidenberg unleashed a slap shot at the top of the right circle that Elliott couldn’t handle either.

• As the Flyers' prospects were dressed in suits and ties Sunday, they had their bags packed not knowing if they would be boarding a plane for San Jose or making the drive to Allentown until Flyers management made the final decisions regarding the team’s 23-man roster.

• Sanheim and Travis Konecny led the Flyers in goals during the preseason with three. 

• Earlier in the week, the NHL approved the two-minute minor penalty that will accompany a failed challenge on a goal where there’s a questionable onsides. Dave Hakstol believes the new rule discourages teams and coaches from using their one challenge that could have a major impact on the outcome of the game.

“Not only do you have to believe that the information you have is correct," Hakstol said before Sunday's preseason finale, "but you got to make sure there’s an element of decision-making as well in terms of is there enough evidence to overturn it.”

Lines, pairings and scratches
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Dale Weise-Valtteri Filppula-Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Taylor Leier

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning-Radko Gudas
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Scratches: Jori Lehtera, Matt Read, Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin, Oskar Lindblom

Radko Gudas suspended 10 games for slash to Mathieu Perreault

Radko Gudas suspended 10 games for slash to Mathieu Perreault

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas was suspended 10 games Sunday night by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for his slashing penalty to the back of the neck of Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.​

The incident occurred 9:50 in the first period of the Winnipeg game that saw Gudas receive a five-minute major and a 10-game misconduct as a result of the play.

Gudas has already served one game of that suspension, as he sat out Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Flames awaiting Sunday morning’s phone hearing.

Gudas will forfeit just over $408,000 as a result of his actions. The Flyers defenseman won’t be eligible to return to the lineup until Dec. 12 when the Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This marks the longest suspension of Gudas’ career. He was slapped with a six-game suspension for his blow to Bruins forward Austin Czarnik in a 2016 preseason game. His first suspension in a Flyers sweater came back on Dec. 2, 2015, when he received three games for an illegal check to the head of Senators center Mika Zibanejad.

The suspension may ultimately help Gudas, who has appeared to be favoring his shoulder in recent games, limiting his ability to deliver his typical bone-jarring hits.

Flyers to host Penguins at Linc in 2019

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Flyers to host Penguins at Linc in 2019

The Flyers will host the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field on Feb. 23, 2019, as part of the ongoing Stadium Series, the NHL announced Sunday night.

The 2019 “Battle of Pennsylvania” is a renewal of the first outdoor game between the two divisional rivals that saw the Penguins beat the Flyers, 4-2, at Heinz Field on Feb. 25, 2017.

“On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, we are thrilled to host the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said.

“Lincoln Financial Field will provide a perfect setting for these cross-state opponents and their passionate fan bases,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

For a Flyers franchise in search of its first win outdoors, the 2019 game will mark the fourth outdoor game in team history. The Flyers played the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Winter Classic, losing 2-1. In 2012, the Flyers hosted their very first Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in a game that saw the New York Rangers win, 3-2.

With seven Stanley Cups between the two storied franchises, the Flyers and Penguins have produced some of the game’s greatest players, and details are still being worked out for an alumni event that will likely be held in Pittsburgh after a similar game was played at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 14, 2017, as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

A Comcast Spectacor executive said other games, such as a Penn State collegiate game or an AHL event involving the Phantoms, could eventually be played prior to the Flyers-Penguins game, but those specifics still have to be worked out. 

“There is no doubt that the Penguins and Flyers will put on a great show for the passionate fans in Philadelphia, and those watching at home, adding to the history between these two teams,” Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA special assistant to the executive director, said.

On Saturday, the NHL announced the Chicago Blackhawks would host the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, at Notre Dame Stadium.