(Photo: Kate Frese)
The Flyers closed out the preseason with a strong third period in a 4-1 win over the Bruins, ending the preseason with a 4-3-1 record.
While there were dicey moments during the first couple of periods, the Flyers got some solid performances from some additions to the lineup and players making one last push to be on the roster.
More from some of the standouts from the Flyers win over the Bruins in our Postgame Review.
- Brian Elliott - Brian Elliott wasn't fighting for a roster spot, but he did need to have a convincing game to instill some confidence that he could be the guy to start the season. He turned in his best game of the preseason, making 26 saves on 27 shots, including 14 in the second period.
Elliott made a number of difficult saves, including one in the first period off a turnover by Christian Folin and another in the third period on a breakaway for David Pastrnak.
Elliott figures to be the Flyers No. 1 guy to start the year, but things certainly get interesting after that. The Flyers will likely have to choose between Carter Hart and Anthony Stolarz to be the No. 2 to start the season. Stolarz was the backup for Monday and Thursday's games and scratched for Saturday's game. It's hard to see the Flyers choosing a goalie to be the backup without playing in any of the final three games. Hart did play the duration of the game on Thursday and served as backup on Saturday, so perhaps that's an indication that he has the edge in the goalie race.
- Final Forward - With the news of Corban Knight's injury, there was another opportunity for bubble guys to make an impact. Both Taylor Leier and Jori Lehtera had two-point games and their best of the season.
Leier may have very well saved his job with this game. He was everywhere and that kind of presence doesn't go unnoticed. Lehtera remains more of a question mark to make the team, but had an edge to his game that makes him a viable option.
It doesn't appear that any of the bubble players were playing for a top-12 spot, but a roster spot and the ability to jump in at a moment's notice is important. Both may be the extras at the start on the roster.
- Raffl Prize - This was also a very strong game for Michael Raffl. While his roster spot wasn't really a question, you got to see what his ceiling is in a game. As a depth player, having someone like that to eat fourth-line minutes is a luxury and shows how the Flyers have improved on paper.
- Simmonds and Couturier Return - Good to see both Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds get a game in and look very ready to start the season as well.
Simmonds had a very solid game, scoring a goal in his typical style by getting his own rebound near the net and picking up an assist as well.
Couturier did take a penalty, but the Flyers penalty kill looked better with him on the ice and he didn't appear to be a step off in his game.
Both figure to be ready for the season opener on Thursday and that's a huge sigh of relief as both started to miss time this preseason.
- They Count for Real Now - This wasn't even close to the Flyers prettiest or best game of the preseason. The second period was once again an atrocity that if not for Elliott would have decided the game.
It's the third straight game where the Flyers have had one of those periods where everything goes against them. In this case, it was less about all players lacking the energy and more about the defensive group they had not being able to complete outlet passes or get zone exits.
Still, the preseason can create some of those moments and lapses, and now that the games count for real, it's time for the full intensity to come out and the mistakes and lapses to become minimal.
By the Numbers
Both teams had 11 shot attempts in the first period for an even 50 CF% at 5-on-5. In the second, the Bruins dominated with a 69.57 CF%. In the third, the Flyers turned the tables and had a 71.43 CF%.
Stat of the Game
The Flyers were 5-for-6 on the penalty kill in this game after struggling for much of the preseason while shorthanded. Raffl also scored shorthanded, marking the second time in the preseason the Flyers scored a shorthanded goal.