Swiss jolt Carter Hart and Flyers, 4-3, in their final preseason tune-up
The Flyers open the season Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague.
This is not how the Flyers wanted to end their preseason schedule Monday.
With goalie Carter Hart, who had been almost flawless in his first three exhibition-game appearances, allowing four goals on 12 shots and getting replaced early in the second period.
With their penalty kill out of sorts as it allowed two power-play goals.
With their players looking disoriented in the first half of the game by the wider European ice.
As part of the NHL’s Global Series, the Flyers traveled to Switzerland and dropped a stunning 4-3 decision to Lausanne HC, the Swiss National League team, at the brand new Vaudoise Arena in Lausanne.
The Flyers fell into a 4-0 hole, regrouped, and controlled a majority of the second and third periods.
Lausanne, which has several NHL castoffs on its roster, had allowed seven goals in its last game.
Now the Flyers prepare for the real season, with the opener against Chicago in Prague (2 p.m. Friday; NBC Sports Philadelphia, NHL Network).
Hart had seemed like a shoo-in to start that game. He still might start, but it’s fair to wonder if his confidence took a hit Monday.
Hart will try to forget his final start of the preseason. The Flyers will try to forget how they were embarrassed by the Swiss in the first period, falling into a 3-0 hole.
Th Flyers didn’t have many quality scoring chances in the first period. Lausanne got opening-period goals from Yannick Herren (own rebound as he got inside Shayne Gostisbehere), former Detroit Red Wing Cory Emmerton, and Joel Genazzi.
Hart appeared to be screened by Emmerton’s power-play shot from the left circle, and Genazzi’s goal was a shot that deflected off the Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk.
Hart, who had a 0.44 goals-against average and a .982 save percentage in three preseason games against NHL competition, allowed three goals on seven first-period shots.
With 16:56 left in the second and the Swiss ahead, 4-0, Brian Elliott replaced Hart. Elliott was solid the rest of the way.
Claude Giroux made it 4-1, scoring just as a power play expired in the second period.
Former Dallas goalie Tobias Stephan, 35, who had a 3.49 GAA and an .883 save percentage in 11 career games with the Stars, surrendered just one goal but was replaced by Luca Boltshauser with 7:55 left in the second.
Early in the third period, Boltshauser denied Giroux on a penalty shot. Fourth-line center Connor Bunnaman, who has secured a roster spot, scored on a rebound to make it 4-2 with 13:43 remaining. With Elliott pulled for an extra attacker, Sean Couturier sliced it to 4-3.
The game was played on wider ice (98.4 feet) than in the NHL (85 feet). For the opener against Chicago, however, the boards will be adjusted to fit to the NHL standard size (85 x 200, as opposed to 98.4 x 197.8 in Europe).
The Flyers, and all NHL teams, must submit their final rosters (23-player maximum) to the league by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
One of the players hoping to land a job, 19-year-old Joel Farabee, began the game at left wing on the second line, which included Kevin Hayes and Jake Voracek. Farabee had a few scoring chances but couldn’t connect. In the third period, Farabee was on a line with Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom and they created lots of chances.
The Flyers scored a total of 15 goals in their seven exhibition games and ended up with a 1-3-3 record if you include the game against the Swiss.
All eight Flyers defensemen played. ... Right winger Chris Stewart, who had two fights and a pair of assists in the preseason, did not play. Alain Vigneault told NHL.com he was still “in the mix” for a roster spot but “we don’t have a contract available or cap space available.” ... Former Flyer Mark Streit, who lives in Switzerland, stood behind Philadelphia’s bench during the game. ... The Flyers began selling standing-room tickets, located in the the Assembly Room, to three games for a total monthly cost of $59