Flyers

Flyers 2, Stars 1: Eight-game losing streak finally ends

Flyers 2, Stars 1: Eight-game losing streak finally ends

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Carter Hart gave the Flyers a five-star performance Thursday night.

The rookie goaltender made 37 saves to help the Flyers snap an eight-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over the Stars at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers were clearly outplayed, but Hart was the difference maker over the final 20 minutes of regulation.

• One good sign in the opening period was that the Flyers didn’t fall apart despite little offensive zone time. The Flyers went just over 12 minutes between shots on net. To their credit, they didn’t give up very much either. During their eight-game losing streak, they've been solid in the opening period with an even goal differential (4-4).

• As strange as it may sound, the Flyers' most consistent defenseman has been Radko Gudas. It was Gudas with a strong play to jump on a loose puck in the offensive zone that eventually led to the 1-0 goal. Gudas fired a heavy shot that led to a big rebound and from there, James van Riemsdyk had a beautiful no-look pass to Travis Konecny for the goal. Scott Gordon spoke with JVR about improving his play after he was bumped to the fourth line in the game at Washington. Van Riemsdyk certainly responded with a goal and an assist.

• While Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier receive attention when the top two draft picks square off, in this game, it was Nos. 2 vs. 3 with Patrick and Stars 19-year-old phenom defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who plays and sees the game like his teammate John Klingberg. Heiskanen showed off his speed Thursday, but you can tell he’s still learning the defensive aspect of the game.

• Patrick, on the other hand, has a more polished defensive aspect to his game but needs to be more assertive and aggressive on the offensive end. At the end of the first period, Patrick displayed a rare burst that we’ve rarely seen this season to only fire a shot high and wide of the net.

• As much as the Flyers' power play has been struggling, Stars defenseman Esa Lindell gave it a prime opportunity to score when he flubbed a clearing attempt. Jakub Voracek pounced on the turnover and fed Shayne Gostisbehere, who missed the net entirely from the slot. That’s an attempt that Ghost has to bury and is more of a product of his lack of confidence with his shot that has been very erratic this season.

• The Flyers surrendered too many shots and chances to the Stars in the second period. Thankfully, Hart brought his A-game, including a five-star save on a cutting Klingberg from his right defense position. Hart had very little time to react on the play instead of relying on his ability to adjust quickly and position himself squarely to Klingberg’s shot.

• In the third period, it quickly became the Carter Hart show with some big-time saves on the Stars' power play. How long has it been since a Flyers goalie stole a game for his team? Hart arguably had his best NHL start since his last victory, a 2-1 win over Nashville.

• Somehow, the Flyers blew three odd-man rushes during a two-minute span in the third period. Two of those came shorthanded with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier failing to convert. The other came on a 2-on-0 with van Riemsdyk and Konecny failing to beat Anton Khudobin on the doorstep.

• The always controversial goaltender interference ruling was put to the test with Voracek scoring with 1:03 remaining in regulation, which would have given the Flyers a 3-1 lead. But this was a clear-cut call as Voracek plowed over Khudobin to slide a backhand shot over the goal line.

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Kevin Hayes impresses, scrapping for spots, more observations from Flyers' preseason loss to Islanders

Kevin Hayes impresses, scrapping for spots, more observations from Flyers' preseason loss to Islanders

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Hockey was back in South Philadelphia as the Flyers unveiled head coach Alain Vigneault and center Kevin Hayes at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night.

The Flyers lost their preseason opener, 3-1, to the Islanders, starting a stretch of four games in six days. They have seven exhibition games overall.

Let's get into some observations from the first one:

• On the Flyers' only goal of the game, the team saw exactly why it was drawn to Hayes. Thanks to his long reach and big frame, Hayes corralled a pass behind him and then shielded his man to eventually ignite the goal.

He found Jakub Voracek, who quickly fed James van Riemsdyk right in front to draw the Flyers even at 1-1 in the second period.

Those qualities are what make Hayes a difference-maker. Maybe it's not flashy, but size and smarts can lead to possession and quality playmaking. The Flyers' front office must have loved that opening goal.

• Speaking of Hayes, he's disruptive out front on the penalty kill because of the aforementioned reach. He can be a workhorse type of player for the Flyers, similar to Sean Couturier and his responsibilities of playing both special teams units.

Both Couturier and Hayes impact the game in all areas. Ideally, the Hayes addition should lighten the load for Couturier, which could make the 26-year-old even better.

• Joel Farabee has another gear and when he changes to it, the 2018 first-round pick really stands out. During the second period, he made an explosive burst to the net with the puck on his stick and nearly scored. Moments later, he impressively took a sharp pass and wrapped it around to a streaking Cal O'Reilly for another scoring chance.

Good stuff from Farabee in his first Wells Fargo Center game action.

• Chris Stewart, with the Flyers on a pro tryout, dropped the gloves in the second period and landed some heavy punches. He's a big dude at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds, and general manager Chuck Fletcher knows him well from time together in Minnesota.

The 31-year-old will have to show more than just that to make the club but toughness doesn't hurt when you're aiming for a bottom-six job.

• Fletcher spoke highly about Egor Zamula during rookie camp. There's a lot to like with the 6-foot-3, 172-pound defenseman. He looked cool and comfortable playing alongside Philippe Myers and there's offensive upside, as well.

• German Rubtsov did some good things. The 21-year-old forward can kill penalties and has deceiving offensive abilities. Fresh off a two-goal rookie game, he didn't hurt his chances Monday.

"I saw him at the rookie game and I thought he played well," Vigneault said last week. "He had good pace to his game and good hockey sense."

• Isaac Ratcliffe, who came into camp with an outside shot at a roster spot, seems likely to spend the entire 2019-20 season in Lehigh Valley. His game stood out in junior hockey, but now everyone is bigger and faster at this level.

He's had a tough time showing off his skill because there's less time and space. Still plenty of promise with the 6-foot-6 winger. Scott Gordon and the AHL will be good for him.

• Brian Elliott allowed an early goal but settled in, making eight saves in 30 minutes. He gave way to Alex Lyon, who allowed a Luca Sbisa blast past him for the game's decisive goal. New York's third goal was an empty-netter.

• Travis Konecny has a new contract. When might we see him?

• The new scoreboard is really cool and really big.

• The Flyers and Islanders will square off again Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (7 p.m., NBCSP+).

The team's game group will skate in Voorhees, New Jersey, at 10:30 a.m., while the non-game groups hit the ice at 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

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Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new contract and fans go into a frenzy on social media

Travis Konecny, Flyers agree to new contract and fans go into a frenzy on social media

Flyers Twitter has officially gone into a frenzy thanks to the team's Twitter account.

Let's break it down from the beginning.

First, the Flyers tweeted this GIF of Travis Konecny. Considering a deal was not done at this point (that we knew of), it caused some chaos. 

With no other information in the tweet aside from the single emoji, one of two things were possible — their social media manager has a degree in A-plus trolling, or the team was about to drop some major news.

Turns out, they were right. Just 15 minutes later, the news officially broke — Konecny and the Flyers agreed to terms on a six-year deal with an average annual value of $5.5 million. Eat up, bud.

Fans began expressing their excitement throughout Twitter and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.

Heck, even the Flyers social media team joined in on the fun.

Now, all contracts are set for the Flyers before the start of the regular season. Everyone is locked in, ready to go and it's time to Fly or Die

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