Islanders 3, Flyers 2 (preseason): Travis Konecny Comes to Life in OTL


ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Flyers finished their preseason series with the Isles Friday night 2-1-1 after a 3-2 overtime loss.

How good was Carter Hart in his first Flyers start, Travis Konecny comes to life and what happened to Shayne Gostisbehere?

1. With Carsen Twarynski having an outstanding camp, I think a message was sent to Taylor Leier, Jori Lehtera and Dale Weise with the formation of the lines. The trio comprised the Flyers' fourth line with younger players like Oskar Lindblom, Mikhail Vorobyev and Twarynski, all pushing for a job playing, above them. Leier has had stretches of hard, physical play, but overall, all three haven't convinced Dave Hakstol that they warrant a roster spot. Twarynski reads the game like a veteran and it's impressive to see him maintain a commitment to playing solid defensively.

2. Gostisbehere left the game in the second period for precautionary reasons. He was on the ice for the Islanders' first goal midway through the second period. Earlier, he ripped a slap shot to put the Flyers on the board.

3. Hart had little work in the opening 20 minutes, turning aside all four shots he faced, but one of the biggest areas he can be a difference-maker is on the penalty kill. Hart was key in helping kill two minutes of a 5-on-3 early in the second period. Not only is he so good positionally, but he also squares up to the shooter so quickly. In turn, his ability to read the pass and cover the angle is exceptional. Last season, the Flyers ranked last in the NHL with a .816 save percentage shorthanded.

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4. James van Riemsdyk played an efficient two-way game in his return to Philly on Monday. Maybe he had some extra adrenaline, but on the Islanders' first goal, he appeared to stop skating in his attempt to backcheck, which allowed Jan Kovar to get behind him for a goal.

5. An adventurous second period for Radko Gudas, who admitted before the game he was playing on the left side for the first time in four years. Gudas came up with a bone-jarring hit behind his own net but then displayed his propensity for bad turnovers in his own zone. The first came in the first five minutes with a pass that was intercepted in the slot. Later in the period, Gudas attempted a clearing pass that was deflected.

6. Ron Hextall said he expects Michal Neuvirth to miss time with what appears to be a reoccurrence of a groin injury. Hextall also added that Nicolas Aube-Kubel was dealing with soreness, which is why he wasn't on the ice for Friday. The Flyers are also optimistic Andrew MacDonald will be close to ready when the regular season opens. MacDonald practiced with teammates Friday.

7. There's a feeling that Konecny hasn't looked impressive, but I don't see any concern here. In the opening period, Konecny proved he can be an effective player without recording a shot. He came away with a takeaway at the Isles' blue line, broke up a shorthanded chance, forced a neutral-zone turnover and drew a penalty. It's important that Konecny has an impact even if he doesn't show up on the scoresheet, which he eventually did with a goal he slid through the five-hole on Robin Lehner.

8. Even with the Flyers dominating on the scoreboard, the Islanders' super skilled center Mathew Barzal had a considerable amount of time and space with the puck on his stick, and the Flyers seemed content to let him fly through the neutral zone at times. Against the Islanders, without a strong supporting cast, it's not much of a concern. However, it's an area the Flyers want to clean up before the regular season as both Vegas and Colorado both play an uptempo style.   

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