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Travis Sanheim injured as ‘soft’ Flyers fall to Islanders in preseason opener

Defenseman Travis Sanheim was injured as the Flyers opened their preseason schedule Sunday with a 3-0 loss to the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders' Cal Clutterbuck (right) celebrates after scoring, during the first period of a preseason game Sunday against the visiting Flyers.
The Islanders' Cal Clutterbuck (right) celebrates after scoring, during the first period of a preseason game Sunday against the visiting Flyers.Read moreANDRES KUDACKI

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Flyers, using a lineup filled with prospects and young NHL players, opened their exhibition season with a 3-0 defeat Sunday afternoon to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

They also lost defenseman Travis Sanheim for roughly the last half of the game.

Sanheim, 22, who is expected to be in the Flyers' defensive rotation this season, left the game with 10 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the second period after being checked into the boards by Matt Martin. Sanheim went to the locker room favoring his left shoulder and did not return. He landed awkwardly on the shoulder.

The Flyers said they would have an injury update Monday.

Sanheim was paired with Phil Myers and Christian Folin at different times.

"I thought he had a pretty good hockey game going," coach Dave Hakstol said.

A year ago, Sanheim played 49 games with the Flyers, and he was much more effective after returning from a demotion to the AHL's Phantoms.

The Flyers' defense is already shorthanded because of an injury to Andrew MacDonald, who is expected to miss the first two weeks of the season.

"Obviously, you'd rather have everybody going," Hakstol said. "… I don't know what the situation will be (Monday) with Sandy. We'll see what the report is and go from there."

Because of MacDonald's injury, the door was open for someone like Myers, a 21-year-old rookie who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 220 pounds, to earn a roster spot. If Sanheim misses significant time, Myers' chances would improve.

Myers played well, clearing bodies — he had six hits — and displaying a strong shot on the power play.

"I was trying to focus on my defensive game and try not to take too many risks, defensively," he said. "They're looking for guys that compete really hard, and I'm trying to work as hard as I can every shift."

The Islanders, under new coach Barry Trotz, used many more veterans than the Flyers and built a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of power-play goals and never looked back.

"Too many soft performances in hard areas," Hakstol said of his team. "It's a tough game. For some guys, maybe it's (because they were) coming off of practice, maybe it's playing their first NHL game. Those are tough experiences, but we had way too many guys who were soft in the hard areas of this game."

The teams will meet again Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center, when veterans such as Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Ivan Provorov might be in the Flyers' lineup.

Hakstol said he will have a "little more veteran lineup" Monday. "We'll spread it out quite a bit over these next three games."

The Flyers were 29th in the 31-team NHL on the penalty kill last season, so they will use training camp to tweak that part of their game. The Isles' power play was 2 for 3; the Flyers' was 0 for 4.


Goalie Anthony Stolarz, 24, who had two knee surgeries last year, played the first half and allowed two goals — close-range tallies on the power play — on 15 shots. Alex Lyon stopped nine of 10 shots. … Travis Konecny, who has played two seasons, was the most-experienced forward in the Flyers' lineup….The Flyers were outshot, 25-17