Flyers Open Preseason With 5-3 Win Over Islanders at PPL Center

Monday, September 21, 2015
Hockey is back! The Flyers hosted the Islanders at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown.
The Philadelphia Flyers opened their NHL preseason schedule with a split-squad game with the New York Islanders. At the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pa. - home of the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms - 7,464 hockey fans saw the Flyers defeat the Islanders 5-3 in a game the home team never trailed.

It was a back-and-forth game as every time the Flyers would take a lead, the Islanders would strike back and tie things up. The see-saw battle continued through the third period until Michael Del Zotto gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead 3:23 into the final frame - a lead the Flyers never looked back on.

Michael Raffl, Travis Konecny, Vincent Lecavalier and Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare also tallied goals for the Flyers in the win. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth picked up the win in his Flyers debut, stopping 15 of the 18 shots that came his way.


Cole Bardreau on his 1st NHL preseason game:
I thought it went pretty well. Obviously my linemates were going well with us too. I thought we had good chemistry and did the little things right. We weren't going out there to put up a bunch of goals and stuff like that, even though we got one. I thought we played pretty well together.

Bardreau on his assist on Konecny's goal:
I didn't really do much. I picked it up and gave it to them and they were flying out there. I'll take the apple when I can get it, but as you can see great skill by TK (Konecny) there. 
Jakub Voracek on 1st game:
I think everyone worked really hard and it's good to see the players that played the first game the way they played. It was unreal.
Voracek on picking up where the top line left off last season:
100%. Me, Raffl and G know what to do on the ice. We had a couple of good shifts int he 1st period. The power play was good. A lot of positives I think. It was the first game in awhile, it was nice to get the win.

It was a bit of a feeling out process for both teams in the opening minutes of play, but after a hooking minor on former Phantoms forward Ben Holmstrom gave the Flyers the game's power play it was Michael Raffl re-directing a Jakub Voracek pass past Thomas Greiss to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers held a distinct advantage in play for most of the period, but a defensive zone turnover ended up in the back of Neuvirth's net on an unassisted goal by James Wright. Despite holding a 11-6 shot advantage, the Flyers headed into the 1st intermission knotted at 1-1.

From a Phantoms perspective, Cole Bardreau had an active first period - taking out Mike Halmo with a big hit in the corner of the offensive zone and playing a gritty two-way game. Bardreau played on a line with Jay Rosehill, whom the Phantoms re-signed to an AHL deal for the 2015-16 season.

The Flyers' 4th line continued to be active in the middle frame as things opened up a bit on the ice. Travis Konecny took a pass in the slot from Bardreau and flung a quick snap shot past Greiss 3:46 into the 2nd period to restore the lead at 2-1. Rosehill added a secondary assist on the play.

An elbowing penalty on Voracek on the next shift gave the Islanders a power play and they cashed in on the man advantage to tie the game at 2-2. Alan Quine fired a shot from the right-wing circle and it appeared to deflect in past Neuvirth off the stick of Sebastian Collberg on a play similar to Raffl's goal in the 1st period.

Mike Halmo took a hooking penalty 6:14 into the period and the Flyers re-gained their one goal lead on their second power play goal of the night. Evgeny Medvedev fired a shot from the point and while Griess stopped the first rebound attempt from R.J. Umberger, Vincent Lecavalier cleaned up the rebound from the right side of the crease - sneaking a shot between Griess and the near side post to put the Flyers back on top, 3-2.

The Islanders never went away, tying the game back up at 3-3 early in the third period on a nice individual effort from Justin Vaive. Vaive came down the left wing with speed and although his initial shot was stopped, he powered to the net and put home his own rebound.

Just over a minute later the Flyers took the lead for good. A point shot through traffic by Del Zotto sneaked past Islanders backup goaltender Christopher Gibson and dribbled across the goal line to put the Flyers on top 4-3. Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare added an empty net goal with 7.8 seconds left to complete the final score.


Michal Neuvirth (15 saves - 18 shots) got the start in net for the Flyers. Martin Ouellette served as the team's backup goaltender, but didn't enter into game action.

The Flyers played a split squad game against the Islanders tonight with half the training camp roster at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown and the other half taking on the Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Flyers Lines

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
R.J. Umberger - Vincent Lecavalier - Sam Gagner
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White
Jay Rosehill - Cole Bardreau - Travis Konecny

Michael Del Zotto - Evgeny Medvedev
Brandon Manning - Luke Schenn
Davis Drewiskie - Ivan Provorov

Michal Neuvirth - Martin Ouellette


1st Period

5:05: NYI - (PP) Holmstrom, minor (hooking)
5:56: PHI - PPG Raffl (1) - Voracek, Del Zotto
8:32: NYI - Wright (1) - unassisted
10:40: PHI - (PP) VandeVelde, minor (tripping)

2nd Period

3:46: PHI - Konecny (1) - Bardreau, Rosehill
4:01: PHI - (PP) Voracek, minor (elbowing)
5:08: NYI - PPG Quine (1) - Czuczman, Dal Colle
6:14: NYI - (PP) Halmo, minor (hooking)
8:04: PHI - PPG Lecavalier (1) - Umberger, Medvedev
13:38: PHI - (PP) Del Zotto, minor (interference)

3rd Period

2:18: NYI: Vaive (1) - Beauvillier, Holmstrom
3:23: PHI - Del Zotto (1) - Giroux, Voracek
8:13: PHI - (PP) White, minor (slashing)
13:27: PHI - Manning, minor (roughing)
13:27: NYI - Halmo, minor (roughing)
19:52: PHI - ENG Bellemare (1) - Manning, VandeVelde


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