The Philadelphia Flyers kicked off the preseason Monday with split-squad games against the New York Islanders.
A strong performance from prospect Travis Konecny and a clutch goal from Michael Del Zotto helped the squad in Allentown claim a 5-3 victory.
Vincent Lecavalier, Michael Raffl and Pierre-Édouard Bellemare also scored for the Flyers, who were backstopped in goal by Czech goaltender Michael Neuvirth.
Brayden Schenn and Taylor Leier scored for Philadelphia in the other game, but it wasn’t enough, as the other Flyers squad fell 3-2 to John Tavares and the Islanders at the Barclays Center in New York.
The Flyers got off to a fast start in Allentown at the PPL Center, opening the scoring early in the first period on the power play. Michael Raffl took a pass from Jakub Voracek and redirected it past goaltender Thomas Greiss. Michael Del Zotto set up the play with a pass to Voracek, before Jake fired the puck to Raffl, who would tip it in.
James Wright would even the score for the Islanders before period end, getting one past Flyers’ goaltender Michael Neuvirth.
Travis Konecny was flying in the first period and finally capitalized in the second period, jumping on a loose puck and firing a backhand shot past Greiss. The 2015 Flyers’ first-round pick had a dynamic preseason debut and created numerous chances in the offensive zone
The Islanders evened the score almost immediately after the Konecny tally, but the Flyers would break the tie again before the second period expired.
33-year-old Russian defenseman Yevgeni Medvedev got the play started with a bullet from the point on the power play. Veteran Vincent Lecavalier found the rebound and showed some great patience before getting it past Greiss.
The Flyers took a 3-2 lead into the third period in Allentown, but Justin Vaive would knot the score for the Isles once again early the final frame.
Just as they did all night, the Flyers would break the tie yet again. This time it started with captain Claude Giroux. G fired a puck from the blueline that was redirected by Michael Del Zotto past Greiss, giving the Flyers a 4-3 lead.
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare would add an empty-net goal, giving the Flyers a 5-3 win in their preseason opener at the PPL Center.
Key Stats (Allentown):
- Michael Raffl opened the scoring with a power-play goal, skating on the top unit with Giroux and Voracek. He’s only scored two power-play goals in 135 career regular-season games, but could see more man advantage time this season
Key Stats (Barclays Center):
- Newcomer Radko Gudas had a game-high six hits in 20:38 of ice time. He also logged a whopping 3:04 of ice time on the penalty kill, where John Tavares and Anders Lee both capitalized against Philly
- Wayne Simmonds led all Flyers with five shots on goal
- Shayne Gostsibehere logged a whopping game-high 25:14 of ice time. He fired three shots on goal and was a plus-1
- Jason LaBarbera stopped 18 of 20 shots in goal, while Anthony Stolarz also saw action, stopping seven of eight shots
GIF Highlights (Allentown):
Michael Raffl opens the scoring on the power play, 1-0 Flyers:
Travis Konencny makes it 2-1 Flyers:
Vincent Lecavalier makes it 3-2 Flyers:
Michael Del Zotto makes it 4-3 Flyers:
Think Claude Giroux is happy that hockey is back?
Next Up: Flyers vs. Rangers (Tuesday, Sept.22, 7:00, Wells Fargo Center)