Flyers’ penalty kill struggles in preseason loss to Islanders
The Flyers allowed two power-play goals on three chances Sunday as they fell to the Islanders, 3-0, in their first preseason game.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Flyers' penalty kill struggled as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.
It was the preseason opener for both teams, and the Isles — partly because they were playing at their old stomping grounds — used a veteran-laden lineup while the Flyers played mostly youngsters.
The Flyers will be using training camp to experiment with different players on the penalty kill, trying to improve a unit that was 29th in the 31-team NHL last season.
Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom were given some PK time Sunday.
No matter. The Isles were 2 for 3 with the extra attacker.
Konecny hadn't played on the PK since juniors.
"It's been a long time, and you can see I made a mistake on the second goal," Konecny said. "We're going to keep working on it and see where it goes. I'm going to do whatever I can to try to learn and put it inside my brain and dig it in there."
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead just 19 seconds after Carsen Twarynski's hooking penalty, cashing in on their first power play as Kieffer Bellows beat goalie Anthony Stolarz from the left hash marks with 13:05 to go in the first.
About nine minutes later, Cal Clutterbuck picked up a loose puck in front and tapped in the game's second goal, with one second left on another power play.
"We've got to be hard to get pucks through," Konecny said. "That's kind of the main thing for us."
A failed clearing attempt led to the next goal, a point drive by defenseman Sebastian Aho that went past relief goalie Alex Lyon with 3:31 to play in the second, increasing New York's lead to 3-0.
These were the Flyers' lines and pairings to start the game:
— Nolan Patrick centering Lindblom and Konecny
— Mikhail Vorobyev centering Danick Martel and Nic Aube-Kubel
— Morgan Frost centering Maksim Sushko and Twarynski
— German Rubtsov centering Taylor Leier and Cole Bardreau.
— Robert Hagg and Christian Folin
— Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers
— Reece Willcox and T.J. Brennan
(In the second period, Sanheim was with Folin prior to his injury, and Myers was with Hagg.)
Stolarz and Lyon divided the goalie duties.
Stolarz, 24, had two knee surgeries last year and hasn't played in a real NHL game since April 9, 2017. He allowed two goals on 15 shots Sunday.
A native of Jackson, N.J., Stolarz couldn't be faulted for either goal as the Isles scored on point-blank shots. He said he was happy the Islanders used a veteran lineup.
"It was kind of nice to see they had a lot of speed and NHL guys out there because you want to get thrown into the fire early," he said. "It was definitely fast out there and I felt I held my own pretty well."
There's a chance Stolarz ends up being in a three-goalie rotation with the AHL's Phantoms. It wouldn't be an ideal situation, but Stolarz said the goalies would push each other.
Stolarz, Lyon and Carter Hart could end up with Lehigh Valley.
"It's something out of your control, and you have to go out and work," Stolarz said. "You can't really take a day off when you have two guys breathing down your neck, and if you're not getting your job done, the other guys are working their tails off to get into the net….If it comes to that, we're going to be pushing each other every day."
Defenseman T.J. Brennan played a team-high 23:30. … The Flyers won just 37 percent of their faceoffs. Nolan Patrick won five of 15 draws.