Flyers

Lightning 6, Flyers 5 (OT): Another furious comeback steals Flyers a point

Lightning 6, Flyers 5 (OT): Another furious comeback steals Flyers a point

BOX SCORE

TAMPA, Fla. — Apparently, the Flyers don’t play their best hockey until they’ve spotted the best team in hockey a three-goal lead.

Once again, the Flyers dug themselves out of a third-period crater, erasing a three-goal deficit against the Lightning and once again, they lost on the first shift in overtime, 6-5.

Is Claude Giroux’s goal the play of the year and what happened to Nolan Patrick?

• Similar to the game at the Wells Fargo Center in November, the Flyers displayed incredible resiliency. It took a fortuitous goal off the skate of Dale Weise, but that ignited the Flyers to score three unanswered goals in the first 8:30 of the third period.

• The Flyers had no answer again for the Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson line. The trio were skating at will with countless chances, swarming in the offensive zone. It looked too easy and through two periods, that line had three goals with five assists.

• Don’t blame Tampa’s first goal on the Flyers' defensemen. Even with the dynamic line combination of Point, Kucherov and Johnson, you need tight gaps and a commitment by all five players on the ice. The Flyers made it way too easy and Giroux can’t stop skating once he crosses his blue line. I wonder if Giroux is conditioned to play defense as if he’s still at left wing, instead of center. He failed to pick up Kucherov or negate the pass from Johnson on the goal.  

• However, Giroux has the ability to make up for mistakes, proving why he’s one of the most skilled players in the world as he put on an exhibition skating between three Lightning players. Maybe the goal of the season.

• Michal Neuvirth can’t be too pleased with Andrew MacDonald, who was overpowered in front of the Flyers' crease on the Lightning’s first power play that resulted in Point’s 2-1 goal. MacDonald obstructed Neuvirth’s ability to make the save. For most of this season, MacDonald has been a liability on the penalty kill and part of a bigger problem, where personnel is the bigger issue within that unit.

You can see MacDonald on his back side here.

• Speaking with former colleague and NBC analyst Brian Boucher during the morning skate, we both liked the makeup of the Flyers' third line of Scott Laughton, Nolan Patrick and Michael Raffl, especially if Patrick can ever get it going. Raffl now has a goal in back-to-back games. If the Flyers fall back in the playoff chase, I think a team like the Bruins or Capitals would look to add a player like Raffl, who plays a heavy game when he’s engaged.

• I look at Patrick and I just see a player with no confidence right now in his game. He’s not a threat offensively because he rarely has the puck on his stick, and he appeared to be in some sort of pain on Steven Stamkos’s goal from the slot that gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead as he stood to the left of Neuvirth. He left the game at that point and never returned with an upper-body injury.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Among Flyers prospects, Carsen Twarynski is making everyone know his name

Among Flyers prospects, Carsen Twarynski is making everyone know his name

Alain Vigneault has been tasked with watching a lot of new players in a condensed period of time.

Flyers training camp opened with 63 players on the roster. Understandably, Vigneault is still learning about his players four games into the preseason.

Prior to Saturday night's exhibition contest, the Flyers' head coach innocuously had trouble pronouncing Carsen Twarynski's name as he rattled off the lineup in his pregame media availability.

Following the game, he said it perfectly.

"For me, the best player on the ice was Twarynski," Vigneault said after the Flyers' 4-1 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations). "He played a solid game at both ends, good on the forecheck, made some good decisions. There's no doubt the young man is making a strong case for himself."

Best player on the ice, on a night when the Flyers dressed forwards Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny. The Flyers played a majority of their regulars at all positions.

Twarynski is a prospect and not the Flyers' most touted one, either. He doesn't care and nor do the Flyers, who are clearly considering the 21-year-old winger for their bottom-six vacancies.

Twarynski scored an impressive goal on sheer effort in the Flyers' win. He played just 11:44 but led the Flyers with seven shots and also had three hits.

"When I'm going fast, it's when I'm doing my best," Twarynski said. "As long as I'm moving my feet and playing with guys that understand that and play the same way, it's going to work well and it's going to click well and I think that's what you guys saw tonight."

The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder plays a bottom-six style and understands what the Flyers need. He has earned himself another preseason game. If he plays well again, he'll be right in the conversation for the season-opening roster.

"I've got to outwork [opponents], I'm trying to earn a spot here," Twarynski said. "I'm not a flashy player by any means and I know the spot that I'm battling for. I've got to work hard, that's what I've done my whole life and that's what I'm going to keep on doing.

"I've been through a lot of adversity though my hockey career. Growing up, wasn't on any national teams or Alberta teams or provincial teams. I've always had to work my way up through the first year and develop and make a step to the big league the next year. It's nothing new to me, I've just got to keep on going, keep working hard."

While the 2016 third-round pick got on the score sheet, Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost did not. The two prospects continued to show their skill and playmaking abilities but have not put up points. The Flyers certainly wouldn't mind seeing production — it's what can force the hand of the front office and coaching staff. If Farabee and Frost are scoring, it's harder to keep them off the roster.

"I don't think we're at that decision-making point," Vigneault said. "We still have a few games before we leave for Europe. But those two young men, you can tell there's a tremendous amount of potential and upside, smarts to their game. We have a lot to work with there. It's just a matter of doing what's right for the team and that's what we're going to do here when we make the final decisions.

"Just for feeling good about yourself and confidence-wise, it would be great to see them [score]. They're getting so many looks. You always say as long as the chances are there, sooner or later it's going to pay off. I'm hoping for those young men that it is because there's no doubt that they're playing well."

But the best player on the ice Saturday night was Twarynski.

His head coach didn't have trouble seeing or saying that.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers give Alain Vigneault what he wanted, prospects update, more from first preseason win

Flyers give Alain Vigneault what he wanted, prospects update, more from first preseason win

BOX SCORE 

Alain Vigneault wanted to accelerate the process as the Flyers inch closer to the Oct. 4 regular season opener in Prague, Czech Republic.

He saw some acceleration Saturday night.

Playing a lot of regulars, the Flyers won their first preseason game in four tries by beating the Rangers, 4-1, at the Wells Fargo Center. The team looked a hell of a lot better after losing to the Bruins' B-squad Thursday night, which prompted Vigneault's decision to change the Flyers' preseason plan.

Vigneault watched the game from the hockey operations suite in the press box. Just wanted a different view, perhaps? Vigneault evaluated alongside general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr.

During the opening period, the Flyers scored two goals in a 1:32 span, half their total of goals through the first three preseason games.

Let's get into observations:

• Travis Konecny was flying all over the ice in his preseason debut. He was active and a constant threat. He had been adamant about how missing the first three days of training camp wouldn't impact his readiness for the regular season.

Konecny made a point Saturday — he looked really good.

• Playing his third game, Joel Farabee had big-time scoring chances during the second period. He tried patiently holding the puck and sort of second-guessed his move on the first. He then couldn't convert on a 2-on-0 late in the frame. When he skated to the bench, he showed his frustration. The 19-year-old might be pressing a tad.

In his second game, Morgan Frost showed his skill with the puck but couldn't crack the score sheet, either. Both continued to do positive things but somewhat blended in as the veterans stole the spotlight.

Production gets you noticed and the Flyers' two top prospects have yet to put up points. The Flyers need bottom-six depth. The Nolan Patrick and Tyler Pitlick injuries could impact the kids' chances, as well.

We'll have to see how many more games Farabee and Frost get to open eyes.

• Kevin Hayes once again showed why his size can be so disruptive. He planted himself in front and Jakub Voracek, with great vision, couldn't miss the 6-foot-5 center for a 2-0 lead.

Hayes has a goal and an assist through two preseason games. Both points were products of Hayes' strategy with his size. He makes the Flyers tougher to play against.

• Speaking of Voracek, he was dominant. He finished with two assists and a goal. His vision alongside Hayes' size could be a productive combo.

• Carter Hart has stopped all 25 shots he's faced through three-plus periods of preseason action. He looks ready to go. He'll play a full game before the Oct. 4 opener.

• The Flyers entered Saturday without a power play goal through three preseason games. On the team's first man advantage opportunity of the game, it cashed in as Claude Giroux found James van Riemsdyk right in front for a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers finished with two power play goals.

Here's a thought: JVR on the top line with Giroux and Sean Couturier to start the season. There's just so much chemistry between Giroux and van Riemsdyk. We saw it last season when it sparked van Riemsdyk over a prolific stretch.

Just a thought.

• Carsen Twarynski, an under-the-radar bottom-six candidate, scored during the second period behind some excellent effort. He played a puck to himself along the boards and then tapped home his own rebound to make it 3-0.

If he's back with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, a fast start to his second season will help his chances at a potential call up to the big club. In 2018-19, he had one goal and four points through his first 20 games with the Phantoms.

• Chris Stewart dropped the gloves for his second fight of the preseason just 1:27 into the game. He also put the Rangers on the power play in the first period when he was whistled for interference. Not sure he helped his case for the roster, although he did have an assist.

• Matt Niskanen and Ivan Provorov weren't paired together but both played well. Niskanen looked a lot more comfortable and broke up scoring chances. Provorov was impressive in all areas, including the power play as the point man.

• The Flyers are expected to practice Sunday in Voorhees, New Jersey, before heading to Boston to play the Bruins Monday in their fifth preseason game (7 p.m./NBCSP+).

The team has three exhibition games remaining. It flies out to Switzerland on Sept. 27 before its final preseason contest on Sept. 30.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers