Flyers drop preseason finale in 4-3 OT loss

Scott Laughton

PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers finally broke out of their preseason goal-scoring slump on Tuesday night but it still wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth straight loss in the exhibition finale.

The New York Islanders scored on a power play with 7.3 seconds to play to hand the Flyers a 4-3 defeat at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers’ Owen Tippett scored at 5:05 of the third period to tie the score at 2-2  and Tanner Laczynski added a go-ahead goal off a breakaway rush at 8:53.

But Anders Lee tied the score at 3-3 moments later.

For Tippett, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Much is expected of the young winger after last year’s trade which brought him here from Florida in the Claude Giroux trade.

Tippett’s skills were on display as he scored off a two-on-one rush with Kevin Hayes at 5:05.

Then Laczynski, competing for a spot on the opening night roster, connected for a third goal, the first time the Flyers have hit the three-goal mark this preseason.

Coach John Tortorella has said all along he doesn’t put a lot of stock in preseason action and didn’t change his tune after this game, which dropped the Flyers’ preseason record to 1-5.

“We had some good minutes in some of the situations,” he said.

There were a couple other bright spots for the Flyers, namely Scott Laughton and goalie Samuel Ersson.

Flyers new head coach John Tortorella insists he hasn’t had much time to evaluate his players, he probably has seen enough of Laughton to know he has a dependable talent there.

Laughton, who could be starting the season as second line center due to the injury status of Sean Couturier, scored the Flyers’ first goal in the preseason finale and it was one for the highlight reel.

With the Flyers a man short, Laughton stole a puck, skated the length of the ice, then deked his way past New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin for a 1-0 lead.

However, in their six games, the Flyers managed just eight goals.

One other plus for Philadelphia was the continued stellar play of Ersson, who kept New York off the board for the first 30-plus minutes of play.

Of course, after the Laughton goal, the Flyers couldn’t stand prosperity.

The height of frustration came at the end of the second period when the Flyers went on a four-minute power play. It took only a few seconds for Josh Bailey to muscle past Philly defenseman Cam York for a poke shot past goalie Troy Grosenick.

York camp into training camp with high hopes but needs to show more.

“I just think there’s a lot there that Cam has,’’ the coach said. “I just want him to offer it up a little bit more to the team. I’m not sure where the road goes but he just has so many abilities that could be positive for the team. We’ll see what happens as we go through. You can’t get beat one on one. He’s trying but that’s a tough play for a defenseman.’’

York knows he has some work to do.

“I feel like my position has been OK,’’ he said. “Obviously I want to take a few extra strides here. I’m not in a position to have a lackadaisical week here ahead of the season.’’

The jury is still out on some of the Flyers’ young hopefuls, according to Tortorella.

“I’m not going to name names, two or three players have improved and stepped up,’’ he said. “Some have gone backward. So these are decisions we’re going to have to make here now that the exbibition season is over. There are a couple (players) in mind I’m really excited about. A few I’m disappointed with.’’

Laughton believes it’s a good thing the Flyers have to practice before their regular-season opener on Oct. 13.

“I think it’s good to have this week to get some guys back (from injury),’’ he said. “I think this week is crucial for us to go over some Xs and Os. Most of camp was skating and conditioning. I think it will be good for us to understand how we’re going to play and the systems.’’

 

>Ersson’s stock rises

 

Ersson is in a competition with Grosenick and Felix Sandstrom for the backup job to Carter Hart. With each passing game, he seems to get a little more confident.

“I don’t try to overthink that too much,’’ he said. “Coaches make the decision and I’ll take the chance wherever I can get it. All I can do is go out there and make it a tough decision not to put me out there.’’

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About Wayne Fish 1873 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.