Shayne Gostsibehere scored twice, while Travis Konecny was fantastic once again, propelling the Flyers to a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers in preseason action Tuesday evening at the Wells Fargo Center.
Yevgeni Medvedev, Brayden Schenn and Sam Gagner also scored for Philadelphia, who got a 29-save performance from Steve Mason in his 2015 NHL preseason debut.
The Flyers were without superstars Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux in the victory and now advance to 2-1-0 this preseason.
Travis Konecny, who was fantastic in Monday’s split-squad preseason opener, was buzzing again Tuesday. The 18-year-old had a great first-period chance after he burned two Rangers’ players along the boards and then cut in for a great opportunity at the Rangers net. Konecny got off a great shot that was fought off by goaltender Magnus Hellberg. The Flyers’ speedster also sprung Nick Cousins with a breakaway pass early in the first frame.
Newcomer Yevgeni Medvedev, who was a force on the power-play Monday, got the goal-scoring started at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday. The 33-year-old took a pass from Scott Laughton at the point and fired a shot past Hellberg, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead midway through the first frame. The goal came on the power play and was the lone tally of the opening period.
While the Flyers outshot the Rangers 9-5 in the first frame, it didn’t come without a scare. 22-year-old Sean Couturier struggled to get off the ice after taking a nasty slash from Jarret Stoll. Couturier would be alright, though.
While Medvedev got the Flyers on the board against New York, it was Konency who had the highlight of the first period. The 2015 first-round pick continued his strong play with an impressive forecheck play that saw him level a Rangers’ defenseman behind the net and then retrieve the puck, before sending a centering pass out front. While no goal was scored on the play, Konecny’s speed and relentless work ethic was on full display.
The Flyers got off to a fast start in the second period, striking on the power play once again less than four minutes in. Brayden Schenn, who scored in the game at the Barclays Center Monday, took a feed from R.J. Umberger in the high slot and wired a shot past Hellberg, giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
While it appeared Philadelphia was in control of the game, quick Rangers’ goals from Oscar Lindberg and Matt Bodie in a span of just over a minute midway through the period brought the game to a tie.
The Flyers would break the tie before the period expired, though. Just about a minute after Bodie got a lucky bounce past Mason, Wayne Simmonds took control of the puck behind the net. The alternate captain came out the other side and sent a feed to Sam Gagner, who buried a shot past the outstretched Rangers’ netminder.
The Flyers took a 3-2 lead into the final period and kept the pressure on in the final frame.
Just 2:11 into the final period, two of the Flyers’ most promising prospects went to work in the Rangers’ zone. Konecny worked the puck down low, before firing a pass cross-ice to Shayne Gostisbehere, who got down on one knee and wired a shot past Antti Raanta from the point.
Ghost wasn’t done there. With the Flyers holding onto a comfortable 4-2 lead in the final period, the 22-year-old defenseman added some insurance in the final five minutes.
Wayne Simmonds got the play started with some good work along the boards. After retrieving and controlling the puck down low, the feisty winger sent a cross-ice feed to Gostsibehere, who got down on one knee again before wiring a shot upstairs past Raanta.
Matt Bodie would get a goal back for New York, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Flyers would go on to win the game 5-3.
The game did feature mandatory 3-on-3 overtime, but no player found twine during the five-minute period.
Key Stats/ Takeaways:
- Gostsibehere scored twice and fired a game-high seven shots on goal. He logged almost 20 minutes of ice time Tuesday after playing a game-high 25:14 Monday in New York. He has an absolute bullet for a shot and looked great Tuesday
- Wayne Simmonds, usually known for scoring the goals, dished out two fantastic primary assists in the win. If he can play with guys who can finish chances, it shouldn’t be hard for him to improve on the 22 assists he recorded in 2014-15
- Sam Gagner picked up his first two points of the preseason in the win. He fired four shots on goal and showed off his terrific vision and slick passing ability. He will give a big boost to the Flyers’ second man-advantage unit this season
- Yevgeni Medvedev is a big upgrade over Nicklas Grossmann. Not only has Medvedev been very solid defensively, he’s also shown off his offensive ability and great shot. He struck on the power-play against the Rangers and his booming shot also led to a man advantage goal against the Islanders on Monday. He should be a great point man on the Flyers’ second power-play unit this season
- Brayden Schenn scored for the second straight game and could finally surpass the 20-goal mark this season. Schenn has a terrific wrist shot that polarizes and handcuffs goaltenders. With the offseason addition of playmaker Sam Gagner, Schenn could finally take that next step this season
- Travis Konecny appears to be creating chances every time he is on the ice. He may only be 5’10, but Konecny is fantastic at winning puck battles and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. The Flyers stole this kid at 24th overall
Travis Konecny ditching two Rangers’ players and cutting to the net:
Travis Konecny with a very impressive forecheck play:
Yevgeni Medvedev puts Flyers up 1-0 on the power play:
Great glove save from Steve Mason:
Brayden Schenn puts Flyers up 2-0 on the power play:
Sam Gagner scores his first of the preseason, 3-2 Flyers:
Konecny and Gostsibehere combine to make it 4-2 Flyers:
Gostsibehere gets his second of the game:
Next Up: Flyers vs. Islanders (Friday, Sept.25, 6:00 pm, Wells Fargo Center)