The Philadelphia Flyers finally earned their first win of the season, downing the Boston Bruins 4-3 in the shootout at TD Garden. The win was a welcomed one for Flyers fans, as Philadelphia had lost their previous two games to the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
Against the Bruins, the Flyers iced a lineup with more familiar names, including veterans like Travis Sanheim, Garnet Hathaway, Nicolas Deslauriers, Joel Farabee, and Owen Tippett. However, it was Farabee, alongside young guns Tyson Foerster and Bobby Brink, that stole the show.
Farabee opened the scoring after a soft David Pastrnak play in the neutral zone let the puck roll onto Farabee’s stick, and No. 86 found the scoresheet by motoring through the Bruins’ zone and putting a well-placed shot under Linus Ullmark’s glove and into the back of the net.
A few minutes later, Pastrnak made up for his error with a power play goal for Boston, but Philly would answer with a power play goal of their own thanks to Ryan Poehling. Foerster and Brink combined for an excellent passing sequence that had Boston’s penalty killers moving well out of position, and Poehling was able to tap home a sweet dish from Brink at the goalmouth.
Two unanswered goals from Pastrnak and Frederic Brunet gave the Bruins the lead in the second period, but Brink was once again square to the task. Less than five minutes into the third period, Jacob Gaucher’s furious forechecking forced a Bruins defender to throw a sloppy pass out to nobody in particular before the 22-year-old Brink scooped up the loose puck and went upstairs on Ullmark.
With the game knotted at 3-3 and headed to a shootout, the former University of Denver star had his number called again. Opening the shootout, Brink used an array of feints to get Ullmark moving and to the ground, and then stayed patient enough to roof a backhander over the defeated Swedish netminder.
To win the game, Morgan Frost took his shootout attempt wide to the left and extremely slow before adjusting his weight and beating Ullmark on his glove side for the third time on the night. Overall, it was a very productive outing for a Flyers team that needed momentum, especially offensively.
Sanheim looked sharp and rejuvenated, and regularly made himself available as an offensive outlet throughout the game. He chewed up a whopping 28 minutes of ice time, while Yegor Zamula and Nick Seeler were the only other defensemen to eclipse 20.
Poehling played 20 minutes himself, and won 57 percent of his draws in addition to his power play goal. Linemate and fellow newcomer Hathaway dished out six hits in his Flyers debut, and he’ll form a fearsome combo on the flanks alongside Deslauriers.
Perhaps most importantly, the Flyers’ young forwards found their game at a crucial moment in this training camp. Both Brink and Foerster are competing for a place in Philly, and it may totally be possible that both end up sticking when the dust settles.
The Flyers’ next preseason game will be a rematch with New Jersey, when the Devils travel to Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. showdown at Wells Fargo Center. With half the preseason in the bank already, one of these next three games will serve as a final chance for the bubble players, one will be the final tune-up for the NHL guys, and one will be a mix of both.