Flyers-Rangers: Postgame Review
The Flyers picked up another preseason win with a lot of the contributions coming from young players trying to solidify their spot on the NHL roster.
In a 6-4 win over the Rangers, five different Flyers scored goals and many others showed that the future is certainly bright for this team.
The standouts from Wednesday’s win at MSG in our Postgame Review.
- Oskar Lindblom - If his hat trick in the rookie game was not an indication that Lindblom belonged at the next level, this sure was. Lindblom scored two goals and added an assist in the first period.
His first goal was a great display of hand-eye coordination, batting the puck out of mid-air on a rebound to score. His second, a quick release that beat Henrik Lundqvist clean. He’s ready.
At this point, there should be little doubt that Lindblom will hold a third-line winger spot on the roster, which really leaves four roster spots potentially available.
- Mikhail Vorobyev - It’s getting harder to picture Vorobyev going back to Lehigh Valley. He’s done a great job anchoring two NHL-caliber lines in his last two games. He played alongside Jake Voracek and James van Riemsdyk on Monday and on Wednesday was on a line with Claude Giroux.
If he were rewarded with a bottom-six spot, he could either play on the third line with Lindblom and Wayne Simmonds or anchor a steady fourth line. He’s looked the part so far, so the NHL might just be calling.
- Corban Knight - With Morgan Frost being returned to juniors earlier in the week, it felt like the third-line center role was a three-horse race between Scott Laughton, Jordan Weal and Vorobyev. You might want to add Corban Knight’s name to the list.
Knight scored a goal off a turnover and has displayed solid play in his last two games as well. He’s making his own case and doing it at the right time. At the very least, with cuts coming on Thursday, he seems like he’s earned the chance to play beyond the weekend and get a shot at the big club.
- Carter Hart - The 20-year-old netminder’s debut on Monday was fairly routine, not much in terms of extreme difficulty, but spotless nonetheless. An 11-for-11 performance in your first NHL preseason game is certainly a good foundation.
On Wednesday, Hart got another chance, playing two periods. He was much busier too, making 25 saves on 27 shots, including 17 saves in the third period. This time, there were pieces for the highlight reel.
Hart’s puck tracking skills are excellent. It’s a big reason he looks so calm in the crease. It seems like he seldom loses track of the puck, even through traffic. He’s also very good at making quick-reaction saves, and he made a couple on Wednesday. He stretched across to stop a rebound chance from Jimmy Vesey and made three tough saves in short order in the final seconds while on a 6-on-3 with the New York net empty and the Flyers two men down.
It’s hard to picture there being a path for Hart to make the NHL roster this season because of Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth. There just may not be a spot to jump the two veterans, even with the best camp. But Hart, who was determined to focus on the prospect of making the team this year, is doing his best to make a case. There may be no case good enough to get on the NHL roster, but he’s certainly given Flyers fans a glimpse of what is to come in the future.
- German Rubtsov - It feels like we don’t talk about Rubtsov all that much. He’s a solid two-way player, but the offensive ability just doesn’t showcase itself in games all that much.
It did on Wednesday, as Rubtsov rifled a one-timer off the post, off Lundqvist and in for his first goal in the preseason. In addition, he had two hits and was 6-of-11 on faceoffs.
Rubtsov was praised by Ron Hextall when talking about the third-line center role, but it doesn’t seem likely that Rubtsov will jump straight from the QMJHL to the NHL. That said, he turned in a performance in Wednesday’s game that gives a glimpse at the potential he has as a pro player.
By the Numbers
The Flyers had five high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5 in the first period to just one for the Rangers and led in that category, 9-3, after two periods. The Rangers had four high-danger scoring chances in the third period to three for the Flyers. The Flyers also dominated the first two periods at 5-on-5 with 38 shot attempts to 22 for the Rangers. The Rangers had 12 shot attempts at 5-on-5 to seven for the Flyers in the third period.
Stat of the Game
One area where the Flyers struggled in this game is penalties. The Flyers took 10 penalties in the game, allowing the Rangers to have nine power plays in the game. The Flyers were 7-for-9 on the penalty kill.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.