Flyers

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Wayne Simmonds plays hero in win

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Wayne Simmonds plays hero in win

BOX SCORE

For the second straight game, the Flyers were forced to get defensive, and this time, they found a way to come out on top Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Wayne Simmonds produced the game-winner after taking a pass from Valtteri Filppula and snapping it past Cam Talbot with 2:15 remaining in the third period.

It was a tight-checking game that played out similar to what we saw Thursday against the Predators, as the Flyers held the Oilers to 24 shots on net. Connor McDavid registered four shots on net but wasn’t much of a factor offensively.

• The Flyers jumped on the board first with the help of their first power play when Shayne Gostisbehere’s blast from the point was deflected out front by Wayne Simmonds right to Claude Giroux, who corralled the loose puck and punched it into a wide-open net for his fifth goal of the season. 

Following an 0 for 5 effort against Nashville, the Flyers needed to capitalize on the man advantage chances.  

“We just have a lot of different looks this year,” Gostisbehere said to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Chris Therien during the first intermission. “We have so many plays out there. It’s harder for other teams to prepare for us. We’re getting pucks to the net and our guys are doing what they're supposed to do.”

• Former Phantom Patrick Maroon finally got the Oilers on the board with 4:23 remaining in the second period when he outmuscled rookie Nolan Patrick along the corner boards, coming away with the puck and making a move past Ivan Provorov, before putting a shot between Brian Elliott’s pads. 

Patrick appeared to have been distracted by a broken stick along the boards that made him hesitate with the puck. The Flyers' rookie center could have elevated the puck with his backhand, but by holding onto to it for a split second too long, he allowed Maroon to come up with the takeaway.

• The Flyers got careless defensively in the opening 10 minutes of the second period as defensive breakdowns led to some quality scoring chances for the Oilers.

• The Flyers did a solid job of containing last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner McDavid, primarily deploying Scott Laughton’s line along with the Sean Couturier line sometimes during the same shift. McDavid had some extended shifts — three even-strength shifts over 1:30 — requiring the Flyers to use a multitude of forwards and defense pairs.

• McDavid left the game briefly in the first period and returned midway through.

• Jori Lehtera produced his best scoring chance of the season when he took Radko Gudas’ outlet pass and attempted to squeeze through a pair of defenders. The plodding Lehtera was unable to gain enough speed for an uncontested shot, but with his strong forearms and hands, he was able to draw a slashing penalty and still put a shot on net. 

• Last season, Giroux didn’t score his fifth goal until Nov. 29th. 

• Both Taylor Leier and Jordan Weal missed Saturday’s game with upper-body injuries. According to general manager Ron Hextall, both forwards are day-to-day. 

• Referee Ian Walsh was honored prior to the game for officiating his 1,000th career game. Flyers captain Claude Giroux presented Walsh with a framed autographed jersey signed by the team with the No. 1,000 on the back.

Lines, pairings and scratches
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Jori Lehtera-Valterri Filppula-Wayne Simmonds
Dale Weise-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Matt Read-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hägg
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jordan Weal, Taylor Leier and Brandon Manning

German Rubtsov, Mike Vecchione among Flyers' 11 cuts

German Rubtsov, Mike Vecchione among Flyers' 11 cuts

As expected, the Flyers reduced their training camp roster by 11 players on Thursday.

After signing 18-year-old defenseman Yegor Zamula to an entry-level contract, the Flyers assigned him to his junior team, the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.

Of the 10 players assigned to the Phantoms, five are forwards: Colin McDonald, David Kase, German Rubtsov, Mike Vecchione and Connor Bunnaman. Perhaps, the one surprise in this group is Rubtsov, who scored his first preseason goal against the Rangers Wednesday, and continued to impress the coaching staff with his strong two-way game and smart, responsible play with the puck.

However, the Flyers appear to be deep at the center position with Mikhail Vorobyev and Corban Knight also turning in solid performances throughout the week.

General manager Ron Hextall also sent down five defensemen: Reece Willcox, David Drake, Frank Hora, James de Haas and Zach Palmquist. No real surprises here as the Flyers continue to search for depth as they move closer to the regular season.  

The Flyers' roster has been trimmed down to 25 forwards and 11 defensemen with Philippe Myers, Mark Friedman and T.J. Brennan vying for one or two spots on the opening night roster, depending on Andrew MacDonald’s availability. 

The notable forwards still competing for a job include 2016 third-round pick Carsen Twarynski and 2014 second-round selection Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Oskar Lindblom, Vorobyev, Myers and Aube-Kubel are among the Flyers who will play Friday night against the Islanders at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Expect a good number of prospects to play in that exhibition game.

Here’s a look at the remaining roster:

Forwards (25)
Claude Giroux
Sean Couturier
Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton
Dale Weise
Jordan Weal
Travis Konecny
Wayne Simmonds
Taylor Leier
Michael Raffl
Jori Lehtera
Nolan Patrick
James van Riemsdyk
Oskar Lindblom
Tyrell Goulbourne
Phil Varone
Cole Bardreau
Danick Martel
Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey
Carsen Twarynski
Mikhail Vorobyev
Radel Fazleev
Pascal Laberge

Defensemen (11)
Ivan Provorov
Shayne Gostisbehere
Andrew MacDonald
Radko Gudas
Robert Hagg
Christian Folin
Travis Sanheim
Philippe Myers
T.J. Brennan
Mark Friedman
*Samuel Morin

Goaltenders (5)
Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth
*Alex Lyon
Carter Hart
Anthony Stolarz

*Currently injured

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Alex Lyon out approximately 4 weeks with lower-body injury

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Alex Lyon out approximately 4 weeks with lower-body injury

The Flyers on Thursday announced goalie Alex Lyon will be sidelined approximately four weeks with a lower-body injury. 

Lyon was scheduled to start Tuesday's road matchup against the Islanders but was scratched after sustaining the injury during warmups. His preseason comes to a close having appeared in just one game, logging 30 minutes and stopping nine of the 10 shots he faced against the Islanders Sept. 16.

With Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth at the NHL level, Lyon was slated to begin the season in Lehigh Valley in competition with Anthony Stolarz and mega-prospect Carter Hart for playing time, with Lyon battling Stolarz for a call-up should injuries hit the Flyers’ goaltenders.

Lyon re-signed with the Flyers on a two-year contract in July. The 25-year-old made his NHL debut last season, posting a 4-2-1 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 11 games.

At the AHL level, Lyon was 16-8-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average during the regular season. Lyon helped the Phantoms reach the Eastern Conference Finals by posting a 1.98 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in 11 playoff games.

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