New York Rangers

Joel Farabee brings it, Carter Hart the No. 1 development, more on Flyers' preseason shootout loss to Rangers

Joel Farabee brings it, Carter Hart the No. 1 development, more on Flyers' preseason shootout loss to Rangers


NEW YORK — Goodbye, New York. Hello, Switzerland.

The Flyers suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in their sixth preseason game out of seven.

Next up is Europe.

The Flyers' roster is at 27 players and needs to be down to a maximum of 23 by next Tuesday at 5 p.m. With injuries, the Flyers' roster decisions are becoming somewhat easier.

Let's get into observations from the sixth exhibition game:

• Joel Farabee just looks like he belongs. His size really hasn't been a factor and his effort is often second to none.

During the second period, he got knocked on his butt in front, hopped right back up and continued to look for a shot to deflect.

The winger has done everything this preseason but score. Farabee has been robbed on a number of chances, including Henrik Lundqvist turning away the 19-year-old with a lunging save to elicit a "Hen-rik" chant during the middle frame.

Farabee also rung two posts and was active throughout.

• Kevin Hayes returned to Madison Square Garden and notched an assist by slinging a pass off the skate of Travis Konecny for a second-period goal.

Hayes has been superb this preseason. Konecny has two goals in three exhibition games.

• Philippe Myers played well. Thanks to his mobility, he kept up with a forward and broke up a chance during the second period. He's looked better his last two games.

"I think he's been no different than a lot of guys," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said before the game. "I don't think he's on top of his game right now but I thought last game he was particularly good defending. I thought he had a good stick. I thought he did some really good things 1-on-1.

"It's obvious that his puck play could be a little bit better but that's not unusual this time of the year."

• Robert Hagg didn't look good on the Rangers' first goal. He was screening Carter Hart in front and then a shot from the point clanged off the defenseman's leg, leading to the goal. Lias Andersson put it home as Myers, to the left of Hagg, got caught watching a bit.

Both Hagg and Myers are competing for a spot in the season-opening lineup. And credit to Samuel Morin, who performed nicely Thursday night and was a plus-1.

• Hart allowed the goal that really wasn't his fault. He has stopped 56 of 57 shots through the preseason. He denied two of the three shootout attempts.

Hart's sharpness might be the team's most refreshing development of the preseason.

• The first period was chippy. Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton both dropped the gloves, while Konecny got feisty battling in front of the net.

• Nolan Patrick on Thursday was diagnosed with a migraine disorder. Here's a look at the development/treatment and how the Flyers will adjust down the middle.

• Connor Bunnaman could be key in helping the Flyers get by through the early stages of Patrick's absence. When Fletcher was asked if Bunnaman could center the club's fourth line, he responded: "Absolutely."

"He's been the best player in training camp," Fletcher said. "He was outstanding in the practices. His first game wasn't great, but he's gotten better and better and better. By best player, I mean in terms of expectations. He's come in and blown them away."

Bunnaman and Carsen Twarynski have become important pieces to open the year.

• Chris Stewart, with the Flyers on a pro tryout, will accompany the team to Europe but no decision has been made on if they'll sign the 31-year-old forward.

• The Flyers fly out to Switzerland Friday night ahead of its preseason finale next Monday against HC Lausanne (2 p.m./NBCSP+).

They open the regular season next Friday against the Blackhawks in Prague, Czech Republic (2 p.m./NBCSP).

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Flyers at Rangers preseason: Storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Rangers preseason: Storylines, game time and more

The Flyers will have some final auditions on Broadway.

The team visits New York Thursday night to play the Rangers in its sixth preseason game. The Flyers' roster is at 27 players and must be trimmed down to a maximum of 23 by 5 p.m. next Tuesday.

On Friday night, the Flyers fly out to Switzerland before their preseason finale next Monday against HC Lausanne.

First, let's look at the essentials for tonight:

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Square Garden
Broadcast: NHL Network

• There's an update (sort of) on Nolan Patrick. The 21-year-old center skated with the non-game group Thursday morning at Flyers Skate Zone.

Recovering from an upper-body injury, Patrick has missed all of training camp/preseason and had been limited to solo work on the ice.

There is no timeline for his return and his status for the Oct. 4 season opener is in serious doubt.

Update: 3:33 p.m. — Patrick has been diagnosed with a migraine disorder. He will not travel to Europe and will miss the season opener. He's listed as week to week.

• The roster hopefuls playing against the Rangers: Joel Farabee, Carsen Twarynski, Connor Bunnaman and Chris Stewart (see story).

Also, keep an eye on how Robert Hagg performs with Matt Niskanen. He is battling with Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin for a spot in the season-opening lineup (see story).

• Alain Vigneault coached the Rangers from 2013-18, leading New York to a Stanley Cup Final appearance and four playoff berths. He was fired following the 2017-18 season.

"The Rangers did what they had to do," Vigneault said last weekend. "I wish them nothing but the best. I had a great five years there and I want them to have success against everybody but us."

Kevin Hayes played parts of his first five NHL seasons with the Rangers. He has been honest about how things ended in New York (see story).

• Carter Hart will play the full game. The 21-year-old goalie has stopped all 25 shots he's faced through three-plus periods of preseason action.


Right now, because Nolan is not here, there might be a spot in the middle, there might be a spot on the wing, there's definitely a spot on D.

- Vigneault on Wednesday

Projected lineup


Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl
Carsen Twarynski-Connor Bunnaman-Chris Stewart 


Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Robert Hagg-Matt Niskanen
Samuel Morin-Philippe Myers


Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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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


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.

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