Flyers

With roster taking shape, Flyers see positives in preseason OT win

Flyers

In their final home preseason game, the Flyers beat the Bruins, 2-1, in overtime Monday night.

Ivan Provorov buried the game-winner off a feed from Travis Konecny.

Sean Couturier scored the Flyers' other goal. Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Joel Farabee also had strong games for the Flyers, who are 2-1-1 in the preseason.

The next time the Flyers take the Wells Fargo Center ice will be for the Oct. 15 regular-season opener against the Canucks.

• In his second preseason appearance, Carter Hart played all three periods and converted 24 saves.

Through five exhibition periods, the 23-year-old has stopped 41 of 43 shots faced.

Hart allowed a power play goal in the second period as Boston grabbed a 1-0 lead. The Flyers got outworked in front of the net and Jack Studnicka was able to deposit a bouncing puck.

While the Bruins didn't play their perfection line and some other regulars, Hart had a sharp glove save and has looked like himself through the exhibition slate. That's awfully important for the Flyers.

"He looks dialed in," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said postgame. "He's focused, he's assertive around his net and he looks confident."

• After playing with James van Riemsdyk and Farabee for all of camp and two preseason games, Morgan Frost centered Oskar Lindblom and Cam Atkinson on Monday night.

Frost hasn't recorded a point through his three preseason games. It's not all about scoring and he has been responsible defensively, but the Flyers certainly want to see him produce some offense in his lineup spot. He's still the favorite to be in the season-opening lineup for the injured Kevin Hayes but the Flyers are going to keep an eye on things.

 

• Couturier knotted things up at 1-1 in the middle stanza with a power play blast.

Keith Yandle was a cool and comfortable customer running the Flyers' man advantage. He made a number of smart reads that eventually led to Couturier's marker.

The 35-year-old veteran has been the Flyers' top-unit power play quarterback all training camp and he'll likely hold that role to open the regular season.

• The Flyers' 13th forward spot is up for grabs but it feels likely Connor Bunnaman is going to snag it.

In the second period, he protected the puck well along the boards, which led to a shot from the point. During one sequence in the opening stanza, he blocked a shot and then drew a penalty to put the Flyers on their first power play.

A lot of little things that Vigneault notices.

"He's definitely right there in the mix," Vigneault said. "I think he's been getting better every day. I thought tonight he had a good game and hopefully he gives us another good one tomorrow."

The head coach knows what he's getting in Bunnaman when the 23-year-old's number is called. Bunnaman was trusted to play four games in the 2020 playoffs and was the Flyers' fourth-line center from mid-January up until the Feb. 24 trade deadline that regular season. The Flyers went 12-4-1 over that span while Bunnaman had a plus-7 rating before the club traded for veterans Derek Grant and Nate Thompson to boost its experience.

• The Flyers have been impressed by Elliot Desnoyers' work ethic and improvement. So much so that they wanted to award the 19-year-old an exhibition game before he heads back to his QMJHL club Halifax.

The 2020 fifth-round pick can play center or winger. He might project better as a winger at the NHL level, but he centered van Riemsdyk and Aube-Kubel in his preseason debut.

Desnoyers, known for playing the right way and scoring willpower-type of goals, nearly netted one at the doorstep off a reverse pass from Lindblom. He then showed his blue-collar mantra by dropping the gloves with 30-year-old veteran John Moore.

Desnoyers said he had never fought at the junior level.

"It was a part of my game that I wanted to show," he said. "Not necessarily that I'm a fighter — it was actually my first fight — but just that I’m ready to do anything to get my team the W. I just felt like it was a good time, losing by one."

Desnoyers will be worth keeping tabs on this season as he plays his final year of junior hockey.

Flyers prospect Elliot Desnoyers drops the gloves with Bruins' John Moore

• The Flyers head to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to face the Islanders on Tuesday at Webster Bank Arena (7 p.m. ET). They wrap up their exhibition slate Friday when they visit the Capitals (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

Cuts are ahead. There's a good chance many of the players who suited up tonight that aren't realistically vying for the Flyers' season-opening roster will be loaned back to their respective clubs. And the same will be done following Tuesday's game.

The club's camp roster is currently at 43, excluding injured players. The Flyers must be at a maximum of 23 by the Oct. 15 regular-season opener and may carry only 22 (one extra forward, one extra defensemen) for salary cap reasons.

Update: Flyers make round of cuts, taking a closer look at depth roster battles

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