Bill Meltzer: Flyers Preseason Game Day (@ TOR), Split Squad Recap, Rookies Game

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FLYERS PRESEASON GAMEDAY: 9/23/14 @ TOR

One night after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs in London, Ont., the Philadelphia Flyers will have a rematch with the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Head coach Craig Berube, who coached Monday’s split-squad 5-4 regulation win over the Washington Capitals, will join the contingent of Flyers players who are already in Canada.

The players who stayed in Philadelphia will not make the trip.

In Monday’s game in London, Steve Mason served as the backup throughout the game to Anthony Stolarz, who went the distance. Mason will get his first start of the preseason on Tuesday in Toronto. Likewise, veteran defenseman Nicklas Grossmann will also see his first action of the 2014 preseason.

On Monday against Toronto, the Flyers dressed forwards Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl, Jason Akeson, Nick Cousins, Brandon Alderson, Pierre Edouard Bellemare, Zac Rinaldo, Darroll Powe and Zack Stortini. The defense pairings were Michael Del Zotto with Luke Schenn, Brandon Manning with Mark Alt and Samuel Morin with Nick Schultz.

On the Toronto side, none among Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Jonathan Bernier or James Reimer played in the London game on Monday. Some or all may play in Tuesday’s game.

When updates are available, I will post Tuesday’s lineup in Toronto. The game will be televised on NHL Network.

********** SPLIT SQUAD RECAP: FLYERS POWER PAST CAPS, 5-4; DROP SHOOTOUT TO LEAFS, 3-2

Buoyed by four power play goals and a dominant second period, the Flyers overcame a lot of sloppy play in the first and third periods to skate off with a 5-4 regulation win over the Capitals on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Washington jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on an Eric Fehr power play goal and a side-angle John Erskine shot through traffic at even strength. Jakub Voracek (one goal, two assists) got the Flyers on the board with a power play goal with 24 seconds remaining in the opening period.

The Flyers attempted just 10 shots in 1st (5 SOG, 4 A/B, 1 MS) to the 19 the Capitals attempted (10-1-8). The tide reserved in the second period, with the Flyers outshooting Washington by a 14-3 margin. More important, Philly exploded for three additional unanswered goals — two on the power play — in the middle frame to take a 4-2 lead to the second intermission.

First, Mark Streit (one goal, three assists) ripped a point shot home through traffic at the 11:56 mark. to tie the game at 2-2. Andrew Gordon (one goal, one assists) found space between Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer’s pads to forge a 3-2 lead at 14:26. At 14:26, Brayden Schenn deflected home a shot by Blair Jones (two assists, two fights) on a 5-on-3 power play to give the Flyers a two-goal lead.

The Flyers made it a three-goal cushion on a Vincent Lecavalier power play goal just 34 seconds into the final stanza. Moments earlier, Lecavalier was not quite able to convert a beautiful feed from 2014 second-round pick Nicolas Aube-Kubel (who had an outstanding game despite not getting a point). The second time around, Lecavalier made no mistake. Streit and Voracek got the helpers.

From there, however, it was all Washington. The Flyers sat back on their lead a bit and got sloppy with the puck and coverages at times as the Caps outshot them by a 17-6 margin.

At the 9:00 mark of the third period, Troy Brower took a Marcus Johansson feed and blasted a power play goal high over Flyers goaltender Rob Zepp from near the bottom of the right circle. The Caps narrowed the gap to one goal at 12:53 as Michael Latta stepped out from behind the net and found space with a shot high to the short side.

That was as close as the Caps got. Philly hung on to the narrow lead for the victory.

The game at the Wells Fargo Center featured five fights. Derek Mathers convincingly beat Liam O’Brien (the same player who unsuccessfully fought Samuel Morin in the Rookies Game last Tuesday) early in the first period. Late in the first period, Brayden Schenn got hit from behind by Washington’s Garrett Mitchell, sprang up and fought the Caps’ forward.

In the second period, Blair Jones had a pair of fights. He decisioned former Flyers forward Kris Newbury at 5:43 and then lost resoundingly to Steve Oleksy at the final horn of the second period.

Finally, in the third period, Chris VandeVelde fought Chris Brown behind the Flyers net at 9:21. Brown won decisively.

In goal, Emery went the first 30:01 for the Flyers, stopping nine of 11 shots. Zepp went the rest of the way, stopping 17 of 19. Justin Peters went the first 31:56 for the Caps, stopping 12 of 14 offerings. Grubauer stopped 8 of 11 shots.

The Flyers dressed three rookie defensemen in the Caps game. Robert Hägg (16:35, minus-one, three hits, two blocks, one shot), Shayne Gostisbehere (17:40 of ice time with one nifty stickhandling sequence that brought the crowd to its feet, two shots, two giveaways) and Travis Sanheim (18:08 TOI, one shot, two missed shots, two giveaways, one blocked shot) generally acquitted themselves well for their first NHL preseason games.

Up in London, the Flyers built a 2-0 lead on the Maple Leafs in the second period after a scoreless opening stanza. Matt Read and Michael Raffl notched their respective first goals of the preseason. Nazem Kadri got one back for the Leafs late in the second period, jamming home a puck in a scramble around the net. The Leafs tied the game early in the third period on the power play, as three Flyers penalty killers went at Kadri, who found a wide open Nilsson for a goal.

In overtime, the Flyers gained a power play but were unable to convert the 4-on-3 opportunity. A one-timer from the left circle by Akeson was stopped by former Phantoms/Flyers goalie Cal Heeter. Moments later, a center point shot by Sean Couturier was blocked into the stands.

In the shootout, Akeson was denied glove side by Heeter. Toronto’s Kadri was stuffed by Stolarz’s pad at the left post. Raffl got stopped blocker side by Heeter. Josh Leivo made one move too many and lost control of the puck just as he got near Stolarz. Laughton was unable to flip a backhander over Heeter’s glove.

Finally, David Booth brought the skills competition and the game to a close. Booth rifled a wrist shot cleanly past Stolarz to end the game. FLYERS TO PARTICIPATE IN ‘CLOSED’ ROOKIES GAME ON TUESDAY VS. DEVILS

On Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Flyers rookies and prospects who remained in Philadelphia will travel to Newark, NJ, for a game against the New Jersey Devils prospects. The game is closed to the public and is also officially closed to the media, although team personnel are permitted.

Flyers prospects available for the game in Newark include Sanheim, Gostisbehere, Hägg, Jesper Pettersson, Radel Fazleev, Aube-Kubel, Leier, Austin Fyten, Marcel Noebels and others.

Earlier in the day, some Flyers veterans who played in the game against the Capitals will work out at the Skate Zone. The Flyers next preseason home game is on Thursday against the Devils.

This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.

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