With most of the lineup making its preseason debut, the Flyers lost their second exhibition game, 4-2, to the Bruins on Thursday night at TD Garden.
The Flyers have dropped their first two preseason games. For management and the coaching staff, the sole focus is evaluation right now as the Flyers construct their roster ahead of the Oct. 15 season opener. The club has four preseason games remaining. They'll be important for system work and greater reads on players eyeing final roster spots.
Joel Farabee picked up right where he left off last season, when he scored a pair of goals in the finale to reach 20 for the year. The 21-year-old winger gave the Flyers a bright spot in Boston on Thursday night by scoring two power play markers.
The Flyers couldn't get much going at even strength.
"I saw a lot of things that are confirming my evaluation during practice and what I'm seeing in games," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said postgame to reporters in Boston. "A lot of guys hadn't played for a long time. You've got to get your rhythm, you've got to get your stride, you've got to get your hands back, your feet back, and that's what we're doing as a team right now."
• The game played out rather predictably.
The Flyers suited up one NHL defensive pair (Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen), while their second line of forwards was, in actuality, their fourth line (Scott Laughton-Nate Thompson-Nicolas Aube-Kubel).
Boston's lineup featured more of its regulars, with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Charlie McAvoy all playing in front of the home fans.
The Flyers committed five penalties, all be defensemen — a clear-cut sign they were not up to par with the Bruins' talent on the ice.
• In his first game action with the Flyers, Martin Jones played half the contest and allowed three goals on 11 shots faced. The 31-year-old hardly had a chance on the first two as the Bruins went right to the power play and cashed in on both of the opportunities.
Marchand beat Jones from point-blank range to knot the score at 1-1. On the second marker, Boston took advantage of the Flyers' young defensemen Cam York and Wyatte Wylie by getting behind them and setting up Craig Smith for an easy look. York is 20 years old and Wylie is 21.
By the end of the first period, the Bruins were in control with a 3-1 lead. Jones probably could have prevented the third goal. He had a good sight line of Brandon Carlo's shot and time to react to it, but the shot also appeared to deflect off of Linus Sandin's stick.
Prospect Felix Sandstrom came on in relief and stopped 12 of 13 shots.
Boston netminder Jeremy Swayman played the full game and recorded 16 saves.
• Morgan Frost is the clear front-runner to fill Kevin Hayes' second-line center spot to open the season. With the Flyers' preseason mix Thursday night, he was essentially centering the Flyers' top line, so this was a stiff challenge for the 22-year-old against the Bruins' big boys.
Frost went scoreless in 15:16 minutes. He looked comfortable working on the power play.
"They're really good players," Frost said postgame to reporters in Boston. "I really want to play in this league and I think you've got to be willing to take on challenges like that if you're going to do that. I think it was a good test for me."
With Frost coming off his shoulder injury from last season, the more game action he gets, the better he should feel. The Flyers would love to see him create some offense over his next outings for confidence purposes. He still has to nail down his job.
• Before the Bruins took over, the Flyers struck first with a power play goal in the opening period from Farabee.
James van Riemsdyk gathered a loose puck along the goal line and made a pretty pass to Farabee in front.
The Flyers' power play went 2 for 6. JVR finished with two helpers.
York quarterbacked the top unit and showed his strengths on Farabee's second goal, which came in the third period when the Flyers were trailing by three.
• In his preseason debut, the 20-year-old York did some good things. He'll have to improve his strength and game along the back wall when pressure is barreling down on him, which is the toughest scenario for any defenseman.
But York's game is built on elusiveness and crisp decision-making. Those qualities can help him in those spots.
During the first period, he was called for a crosschecking penalty that you wouldn't have blinked at in past seasons. But the NHL this season is enforcing a tighter standard on Rule 59 for crosschecking and the cracking down was evident on York's penalty.
He finished with 23:01 minutes, two blocked shots and an assist on Farabee's second tally.
• Ristolainen, one of the Flyers' slew of offseason acquisitions to change the club's makeup, had two shots and two hits in 22:28 minutes. He played on the penalty kill and power play.
Staying on the blueliners, Nick Seeler committed a pair of penalties and had a minus-2 rating. He was solid in the preseason opener.
The 28-year-old is vying for the Flyers' seventh defenseman spot and could be the favorite to grab it considering the club's injuries. Egor Zamula and Samuel Morin are injured, while York could really benefit from important development time at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
Adam Clendening is also pushing with Seeler for that extra defenseman role. He had a penalty, minus-1 mark, two hits and two blocked shots.
• Tyson Foerster hasn't been able to stand out much in his two preseason games. He's only 19 years old. The taste of the NHL pace and physicality should be good for him.
• The Flyers will be back on the ice Friday in Voorhees, New Jersey, before welcoming the Capitals on Saturday for their third preseason game (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).
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