After a long summer full of new changes and fresh faces, a rejuvenated and motivated Flyers squad returned to the ice to face the New York Islanders in the first preseason game of the season. It was the first time seeing players like Cam Atkinson, Derek Brassard, Kieth Yandle, and Ryan Ellis in the Flyers orange after being acquired this offseason. One thing that will never change between the Flyers and Islanders is the game going to overtime, which was the case again last night as the Islanders won 3-2 in extra time.
Along with new guys being acquired during free agency and trades this offseason, the Flyers were able to get some prospects on the ice last night as well. Young forwards, Conner Bunnaman, Tyson Foerster, Isaac Ratcliffe, German Rubtsov, and Max Willman all were able to log more than 10 minutes of ice time last night. These young players have the potential to get called up and make impacts similar to guys like Wade Allison did last year for the Flyers. On defense, 21 year old rookie Egor Zamula scored the first goal of the game and also got 16:48 minutes of ice time in the game, making a huge impact in his Flyers debut.
Zamula got the goal scoring started in the game in the second period with a wrist shot from the blue line going top corner past Islanders goalie Kenneth Appleby, who had 15 saves on 16 shots for the Islanders in the game. Defenseman Adam Pelech and Noah Dobson scored two consecutive goals for the Islanders to give them a 2-1 lead in the third period. The first goal was scored on Carter Hart, who had a save percentage of .944 on the night, which is good for a goalie looking for a bounce back season. Maksin Sushko tied the game up for the Flyers late in the third with a wrap around shot which eventually led to OT. Anthony Beauvillier scored the winner just 22 seconds into the extra period of play and the game ended 3-2 for the Isles.
Despite the loss it was good to see new faces putting up points for the Flyers. With Zamula and Sushko putting up goals and Brassard and Ellis having assists as well, it is good to see moves made by GM Chuck Fletcher have potential to pay off. The Flyers play their second preseason game Sept 30 at Boston on TNT, who recently acquired rights to have NHL games on their channel. Hopefully, the Flyers can bounce back with a win and gain momentum heading into the new season.