Flyers

Flyers hold unique intrasquad game at Wells Fargo Center, decisions are next

Flyers

With a dress rehearsal Sunday night, the Flyers played their first game at the Wells Fargo Center in 10 months.

The club's 2021 training camp is finished and now some decisions have to be made before the regular-season opener Wednesday.

Team White beat Team Orange, 4-2, in an intrasquad game.

Goals were scored by Kevin Hayes (two), Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk.

The Flyers, who had 41 players in camp, must construct their 23-man roster and taxi squad prior to the real thing beginning when the Penguins come to town.

Alain Vigneault and the Flyers' coaching staff watched the scrimmage from up top in one of the team management suites with general manager Chuck Fletcher and the front office. Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon was behind the bench for Team Orange and Phantoms assistant coach Kerry Huffman led Team White.

The final five minutes of the third period were played in 3-on-3 overtime style. Laughton scored the game-winner on a breakaway during that portion, while van Riemsdyk also netted one on a breakaway. Both beat Brian Elliott on their moves.

The night ended with a nine-round shootout. Michael Raffl scored on a slapper. The goalies were good.

• Speaking of good. Good for Patrick.

He scored a goal for Team White to knot things up, 2-2, in the second period. He was seen smiling, he looked comfortable. He hasn't been able to do this since April 2019. Sunday was his first game action with Flyers teammates in 649 days after he had missed all of last season, which was paused and restarted, as he recovered from a migraine disorder.

 

After finding answers and progressing all offseason, Patrick was a full participant in this camp and one of the Flyers' best players over the duration of it, Vigneault said Sunday morning.

At the start of camp, Patrick said he was going to approach things one day at a time and see how he felt at the end of camp. If he plays in in Wednesday's regular-season opener, here's how the Flyers could look down the middle.

Sean Couturier

Kevin Hayes

Nolan Patrick

Scott Laughton

A lot to like there with four hard-to-play-against centers. Laughton led the team in goals during the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament over the summer.

"Our forward depth is probably some of the strongest I’ve seen since I’ve been here," Laughton, who made his Flyers debut in 2012-13, said Sunday morning. "I’m excited to get going."

• Lindblom was also a sight to see on the ice. He played with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny.

He said his goal is to play opening night and he looks ready to go.

The 24-year-old winger was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in December 2019. After completing his radiation treatments in July and being cleared of cancer, he returned for two games in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A full offseason was great for him. Tremendous story, as well.

• During a November game last season, Farabee was demoted to a lower line and hardly played in the third period because of uncharacteristic turnovers. The 20-year-old winger, who can be so good and smart with the puck on his stick, was quick to give it up that night and the coaches told him afterward.

In Year 2, Farabee wants to show more patience and gumption when the puck comes his way.

"I’m feeling confident about my game on the ice," Farabee said Tuesday. "I think last year, I feel like I got rid of the puck a lot when I didn’t need to. So kind of just focusing on holding onto it, maybe waiting for a play to open up and stuff like that."

He showed it Sunday.

The line of Farabee, Hayes and Claude Giroux clicked from the start, producing the game's first two goals to give Team Orange a 2-0 lead.

Farabee and Giroux played a nice two-man game to set up Hayes on the first goal. Farabee kept that line humming later in the period with a nifty pass playing along the back wall to Hayes, who netted his second.

Smart and not rushed reads by Farabee.

 

Good stuff from that line and expect to see it Wednesday in the opener.

• Aube-Kubel put Team White on the board with a nasty shot, cutting Team Orange's deficit to 2-1 in the middle frame.

You know what you're getting with Aube-Kubel: a relentless forechecker and opportunistic scorer.

• Jakub Voracek assisted Patrick's goal. He was a nightmare for 20-year-old defenseman Egor Zamula.

Voracek is a big guy who can protect the puck and the skinnier Zamula couldn't get him off of it.

It will be interesting to see if the Flyers decide to keep Zamula on the taxi squad. Not sure they will.

• Intrasquad crisis averted.

Ivan Provorov took a Lindblom shot to his foot or leg and went down in a heap.

He stayed in the game, not even leaving the bench to go to the dressing room ... anybody surprised?

Provorov has yet to miss a game in his NHL career, playing in all 315 over his first four seasons.

• Making the transition from defenseman to left winger, Samuel Morin had a nice scoring chance in the third period and hit iron. He competed hard and did what he said he would, which was finish his checks. He even broke his stick on one of the hits.

• Talented prospect Morgan Frost had some chances and displayed good second effort. He seems like a clear taxi squad candidate.

"I'll keep working hard and do what I can to try and get in the lineup," Frost said Sunday night. "I want to be on the Flyers, so that's kind of the only thing I think about."

The Flyers won't play Frost at fourth-line center. Given the team's depth at the position (at least right now on paper), Frost could be a candidate to play left winger at some point if needed. He got reps on the left side during camp.

• Raffl was whistled for a penalty in the third period.

It sure looked like Konecny playfully chirped his buddy as Raffl stared him down going to the box.

Midseason form for No. 11.

• Both Carter Hart and Elliott played the full game and were in form. No problems there.

• Shayne Gostisbehere and Wade Allison were unfit to play for the second day in a row. When the roster is announced, we'll have a better idea about their statuses.

• Here were the forward lines and defensive pairings. Some of them are likely to stick Wednesday. The Flyers are off Monday and practice Tuesday.

• The Flyers kick off the regular season Wednesday night when they welcome the Penguins to the Wells Fargo Center (5:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

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