With the preseason finale – a dress rehearsal as John Tortorella has stated multiple times – in the rear view mirror, it is now onto the regular season for the Philadelphia Flyers.
After three long weeks of training camp and six preseason games, the Flyers opening night has taken shape. A lineup that went through a dry run Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the New York Islanders.
The Flyers lineup tonight against the Islanders will more than likely be the same lineup that suits up next Thursday in Columbus to open the season.
Tyson Foerster, who has impressed John Tortorella with his 5v5 game this preseason, looks to have won the final Top9 wing spot. A spot that Foerster beat out fellow rookie Bobby Brink for in the opening night lineup.
Brink impressed in his first full training camp with the Flyers and did everything right to make the team. Finishing the preseason with one goal and two assists in a three games.
But, the Flyers still want to see more from Brink and don’t mind seeing him in some AHL action.
Foerster, on the other hand, is NHL ready as ready gets.
Starting on a line with Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier, Foerster still was a little hesitant as John Tortorella noted on Monday. This led to a line switch to start the 2nd period and a goal mid-way through the period.
On the breakout, Foerster started an up ice rush with Morgan Frost who lasered a blue line to blue line pass to Owen Tippett. Beating the Islanders defender with his speed for a break-away on a goal.
Even though his night started off much like his game on Monday, Foerster became a lot more comfortable when paired with Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost. A line which could be the opening night third line.
NRG Energy Line
Nic Deslauriers, Ryan Poehling, and Garnet Hathaway have been penciled in as the Flyers fourth line since Hathaway signed in July. Tonight, the NRG Energy Line (Nic-Ryan-Garnet) showed what to expect on a nightly basis.
In need of an energy boost after the Islanders opening goal, John Tortorella looked to his fourth line for a spark. A spark that he did not think would result in a goal. But, it was an added bonus.
Hathaway started the play with a tremendous forecheck to gain control of the puck. Then, after regaining the puck behind the net from Travis Sanheim, Hathaway slid a pass in-front to Deslauriers who tied the game for the Flyers.
Ristolainen “Nicked Up” / Andrae Steps In
Before the game, the Flyers announced that Rasmus Ristolainen would not play due to being “nicked up”. Missing tonight as a precautionary matter.
In his place, Emil Andrae suited up for the Flyers. Finishing the night with 17:05 of ice time.
NEXT GAME: Game 1 – Thursday 10/12 @ Columbus Blue Jackets