Flyers

Future Flyers Report: Alex Lyon helps Phantoms inch closer to playoff berth

Future Flyers Report: Alex Lyon helps Phantoms inch closer to playoff berth

The Flyers' season ended Sunday night, but hockey is still being played. The AHL regular season is wrapping up this coming weekend, while the CHL and SHL playoffs are still ongoing.

So there will be at least one more Future Flyers Report after today. With that said, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

In this week's report, we check in on the Phantoms' playoff push, how Harvard fared in the Frozen Four and see how the Flyers' CHL prospects are doing in the playoffs. Let's dig in.

Alex Lyon, G, 24, 6-1/201, Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)
For a while there, it appeared as if Lehigh Valley would have no problem clinching a playoff berth, but that hasn't been the case over the last few weeks. The Phantoms' postseason push has been slowed down by inconsistencies and a difficult Atlantic Division. However, the Phantoms' magic number to secure their playoff spot is down to one point with three games left, and a big reason why was Lyon's performance in net in a 4-2 win over Springfield on Saturday night. The 24-year-old netminder turned away 44 Thunderbird offerings and allowed just two goals in an outstanding effort. It was Lyon's second start last week, as he allowed three goals on 29 shots in a 3-2 OT loss to Hershey last Wednesday. 

Merrick Madsen, G, 21, 6-5/190, Harvard (NCAA)
Madsen's junior season came to an end last Thursday when the three-seeded Crimson fell to two-seeded Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, in heartbreaking fashion during their Frozen Four semifinals matchup. Madsen turned away 36 of 38 shots against the Bulldogs but surrendered the game-winning goal with 26.6 seconds left in regulation -- a tough pill to swallow for Madsen, who made several big saves during the semifinal match. Regardless of the bitter end, Madsen's junior season was a highly successful one. He finished the season with a 28-6-2 record in 37 games played and a 2.10 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and three shutouts. His .848 winning percentage finished the season second in the nation behind Minnesota-Duluth's Hunter Miska. He's a finalist for the Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year Award, the top goalie in the ECAC, and an all-Ivy League first teamer.

Samuel Dove-McFalls, C, 19, 6-1/207, Saint John's (QMJHL)
One of just four Flyers prospects remaining in the CHL playoffs, Dove-McFalls scored the game-winning goal at 9:38 in overtime in Saint John's 2-1 victory over Val-d'Or in Game 1 on Friday. He was held pointless with four shots on goal in the Sea Dogs' 4-1 win in Game 2 Saturday night. In six playoff games, Dove-McFalls has just two points with 20 shots and a plus-3 rating. Dove McFalls, a 2015 third-round draft pick, has until June 1 to sign an entry-level contract before Flyers lose his exclusive rights, according to CapFriendly.com.

Philippe Myers, D, 20, 6-5/209, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Myers continued to produce for the Huskies last week. In Rouyn-Noranda's 5-2 first-round series-clinching win over Halifax last Monday, Myers got the Huskies off to a 1-0 lead with a power-play blast. He later added an assist on the Huskies' fourth goal. Rouyn-Noranda scored Chicoutimi in the second round, and Myers had an assist in the Huskies' 6-2 win Friday in Game 1. The Saguenéens won Game 2 Saturday. The series resumes Tuesday.

Carter Hart, G, 18, 6-1/181, Everett (WHL)
After a 64-save, five-overtime win to send Everett to the second round last Sunday night, Hart and the Silvertips find themselves in a 2-0 hole to the Seattle Thunderbirds after dropping Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday night. Hart yielded seven goals in the two games, allowing three on 33 shots in Game 1 and four on 15 shots in Game 2. The Silvertips will look to get back in the series Tuesday night when the series resumes.

Quick hits
• After an impressive first-round series performance, Carsen Twarynski is pointless in two games against Portland in the second round. Kelowna, however, is up 2-0 in the series.

German Rubtsov's season is over with a broken hand, Chicoutimi announced last week.

Robert Hagg picked up an assist in the Phantoms' 4-2 win over Springfield on Saturday night. He was called up to the Flyers Sunday and made his NHL debut in the season finale.

• Brynäs IF goalie Felix Sandstrom allowed 12 goals, stopping 63 of 75 shots in three games against Frolunda last week in his team's second-round playoff series.

Travis Sanheim had two assists in three games last week for the Phantoms. He has 35 points in 73 games this season, a solid first season playing professionally.

• After being held pointless in Game 1 against Frolunda, Oskar Lindblom had a two-assist game in Brynäs' 6-3 loss in Game 2 last Thursday and added another helper in a 4-3 Game 3 win on Saturday. The series, tied, 2-2, resumes Monday with Game 5.

Anthony Stolarz, who has been up and down between the Flyers and Phantoms, made one start in Lehigh Valley last week, a 3-0 loss to Wilkes/Barre-Scranton on Friday. He made 29 saves on 31 shots faced before being recalled up to the Flyers on Saturday.

David Kase saw his 2016-17 campaign come to an end Sunday when Piráti Chomutov lost its playoff series with HC Bílí Tygři Liberec. Kase finished the regular season in the Extraliga with three goals and nine points and added two markers and five points in 14 postseason games. He also played in eight games in the WSM-Liga, adding seven points.

Best of NHL: Red-hot Devils storm back to beat Senators in overtime

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Best of NHL: Red-hot Devils storm back to beat Senators in overtime

OTTAWA, Ontario -- John Moore scored 1:20 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils used three unanswered goals to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in overtime Thursday night.

This year's No. 1 draft pick Nico Hischier scored twice for New Jersey. The Swiss center's opening goal was the first of his NHL career.

Kyle Palmieri and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Devils, who improved to 4-0-0 on the road and 6-1-0 overall. Cory Schneider allowed four goals on 24 shots before leaving with a lower-body injury. Keith Kinkaid started the third period and stopped nine shots. Taylor Hall chipped in with four assists.

Kyle Turris, Derick Brassard, Alex Burrows and Tom Pyatt scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson made 41 saves (see full recap).

Bergeron sparks Bruins’ win over Canucks
BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron had a goal and three assists in his season debut, moving up to seventh on Boston's career scoring list as the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Thursday night.

Anders Bjork scored twice for Boston, Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists and David Pastrnak added a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who scored five straight goals after falling behind 1-0 early in the first period.

Anton Khudobin made 26 saves for Boston while starting in place of Tuukka Rask, who is out indefinitely with a concussion he suffered in practice Wednesday.

Derek Dorsett, Bo Horvat and Thomas Vanek scored for the Canucks, and Michael Del Zotto had two assists (see full recap).

Sergachev, Vasilevskiy help Lightning blank Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mikhail Sergachev scored his first two NHL goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 43 saves for his fifth career shutout in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals to push his NHL-leading points total to 14. His goals streak was stopped at seven games.

The Lightning took advantage of the few openings offered by Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 19 shots for the Blue Jackets and lost for the first time this season. Columbus had won four straight.

The Lightning, coming off an overtime loss to New Jersey on Tuesday night, improved to 6-1-1 for their best start opening 7-0-1 in their Stanley Cup-winning 2003-04 season.

Columbus dropped to 5-2-0, hurt by uncharacteristic sloppy passing and continued power-play problems in its first shutout loss of the season (see full recap).

Flyers fail to get revenge as offense quiet in loss to Predators

Flyers fail to get revenge as offense quiet in loss to Predators

BOX SCORE

No questionable penalty calls. No need to use a challenge. No last-minute heartbreak this time.

A furious nature was replaced with frustration after the Predators scored the lone goal at the Wells Fargo Center to beat the Flyers, 1-0, Thursday night (see observations).

Predators third-line center Colton Sissons, who missed the first meeting between the two teams nine days ago, connected on the only goal of the game 3:49 into the third period as he blasted a shot that beat Michal Neuvirth to the far post (see highlights).

“I’ve got to watch the replay to see if I was on the right angle, but it’s a tough play 2-on-1,” Neuvirth said. “Usually when it’s a tight game like that, it’s about one mistake and you've got to move on.”

The Flyers appeared to have the play covered. However, when Kevin Fiala took control of the loose puck, Wayne Simmonds reached for it and that kick-started the Predators’ rush for what ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal.

“It’s a tough play,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “You see the puck and you want to go get that loose puck. It’s a 0-0 game. It was a real good play on the cycle, and there’s scrum on the hash marks there. It’s a tough play and, unfortunately, the puck got past Simmer and now it’s a race back up ice and they got a pretty good quality shot away.”

For a high-octane offensive team ranked second in goals scored, the Flyers are still looking to prove they can win the tight-checking, low-scoring games.

Overall, it was also a tough night for the Flyers' leading scorer Simmonds. He was dealing with a lower-body injury, and at times, appeared to be laboring on the ice. Simmonds also took a stick to his lip that required stitches, which essentially excused him from making any postgame comments.

The 1-0 loss marked the second time in the first seven games the Flyers have been shut out this season, and on both occasions Neuvirth has been the victim of the lack of offense.

“It’s tough to say,” Neuvirth said. “We had really good chances, but we couldn’t get one behind him. It was frustrating to see that, but we've got to move on and we've got another big game on Saturday.”

Once again, the Flyers could have been bailed out by their power play. However, the two units collectively finished 0 for 5 for the third time this season. That’s because 6-foot-5 Pekka Rinne, who’s mobile for his size with one of the best glove hands in the league, stopped all 28 shots.

“That was a lot of battle,” Rinne said. “I was able to see the puck for the most part and make the first save always and a lot of times guys were bailing me out, too.”

Outside the Wells Fargo Center earlier on Thursday, the Flyers organization unveiled a nine-foot statue of founder and chairman Ed Snider prior to faceoff with almost every member of the team’s Hall of Fame in attendance (see story).

Unfortunately for the club, it was the only moment worth celebrating.

Notes, quotes and tidbits
• Filling in for the injured Jordan Weal (upper body), forward Jori Lehtera saw his first action of the season. He played on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Simmonds. Lehtera played 12:06 and finished the game without a shot on net. If Weal is unable to go Saturday afternoon, it will be interesting to see if Hakstol goes back to Lehtera or gives the quicker Matt Read a shot against a speedy Oilers team.

“Lehts did a good job,” Hakstol said. “To step in in game No. 7, not having played, I thought Lehts went out and played a real rock solid game. Lehts has been here. Lehts has done the work. You guys don’t see behind the scenes the kind of effort and what that takes as a teammate every day to stay ready.”

• The 1-0 loss comes exactly 50 years to the day the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0, in their first-ever home game at The Spectrum. The last time the Flyers were shut out 1-0 on home ice was March 31, 2011, by the Atlanta Thrashers.

• Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere played a career-high 25:23. Not only has he regained his offensive form from his rookie season, but he’s also refined his defensive game by using more body and less stick to gain position on his man.