VOORHEES, NJ - Where else can the Islanders and Flyers play a preseason game?
The two Metropolitan Divisional opponents square off for the fourth time this preseason when they battle at the PPL Center in Allentown. In the past six days, the Flyers and Islanders have played in four different venues: Nassau Coliseum, Wells Fargo Center, Barclays Center and PPL Center.
Let the never-ending goalie drama commence. Michal Neuvirth, who was scheduled to play against the Islanders, was seen hunched over at the end of practice and stretching rather awkwardly. As Neuvirth stepped off the ice, he slammed his stick against his pad in apparent frustration. Trainer Jim McCrossin met with head coach Dave Hakstol and goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh shortly after evaluating Neuvirth, who will likely sit out as a precaution. Rookies Carter Hart will start if Neuvirth is officially ruled out.
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If injuries persist, is there a realistic chance that Carter Hart starts his pro career with the Flyers? Head coach Dave Hakstol had this to say:
We're not going to skip any steps with Carter in making sure everything is done in the best long-term interest. He's had a good solid camp to now. You see some areas where he needs to improve and mature, yet that's the case with any young player. I think he's had a really good camp up 'till now and that's a positive for him.
After trimming the roster to 41 on Thursday, the Flyers will dress 14 players with NHL experience - it's the most experienced roster the Flyers have dressed this preseason.
Although the Flyers haven't officially made another round of cuts, eight additional players weren't participating in Thursday's afternoon practice. That group includes Phil Varone, Cole Bardreau, Danick Martel, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Greg Carey, Radel Fazleev, Pascal Laberge and T.J. Brennan.
In a rare move, the Flyers will put two right-handed defensemen together as the team's third pairing. Radio Gudas will work the left side with Mark Friedman on the right side. The last time Gudas recalls playing the left side was at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. One of Radko's biggest adjustments will be the forehand pass to the middle of the ice.
Here are the essentials for tonight:
When: 7 p.m.
Where: PPL Center
James van Riemsdyk-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Mikhail Vorobyev-Jake Voracek
Carsen Twarynski-Jordan Weal-Michael Raffl
Taylor Leier-Jori Lehtera-Dale Weise
Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hägg-Phil Myers
Radko Gudas-Mark Friedman