Flyers drop to Islands in OT, finish 1-4-1 in preseason

The Philadelphia Flyers finished their preseason with a 1-4-1 record after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

It was a preseason in which new coach John Tortorella emphasized conditioning and defense.

A preseason in which the Flyers offense was a work in progress.

A pre-season in which injuries and losses have multiplied.

Anders Lee of the Islanders tied the game 3-3 on a deflection with 7:41 left in regulation. New York then won it in overtime on Noah Dobson’s power-play goal with 7.3 seconds left.

Here are five observations from Philly’s fifth straight loss:

1. Tanner Laczynski has made a solid case for becoming the center of the fourth line.

Laczynski, 25, quietly had a strong camp and was one of the Flyers’ most physical players.

He broke a 2-2 tie with 11:07 remaining in regulation time on Tuesday by beating Ilya Sorokin on a breakaway. Laczynski, who underwent two hip surgeries last year, was on a spirited line with Nic Deslauriers and Zack MacEwen. The line combined for nine hits in the game.

Laczynski, a former Ohio State player, showed his speed as he edged a defender on his breakaway.

2. Cam York’s place is under threat.

York, a promising defenseman, allowed veteran Casey Cizikas to pass him and score a shorthanded goal with 1:38 left in the second, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

Earlier in the day, Tortorella said he needed more from the 21-year-old York, who hasn’t had a good camp. It will be interesting to see if he starts the season with the Flyers, or if he goes to the Phantoms for some seasoning and Nick Seeler lands on Philly’s third pairing. Seeler had five hits, two blocked shots and a plus-1 differential in 17:32 on Tuesday.

In five preseason games, York was scoreless and 6-under.

3. Scott Laughton showed his speed and breakaway skills.

The center scored a shorthanded goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead early in the second. He did his patented breakaway move and slipped the puck between Sorokin’s legs.

After the first intermission, Laughton (two points, plus-2) said training camp had been “demanding” and a “physical and mental test.” He added that the players arrived at camp in great shape.

“We’re looking forward to the season and kind of turning the page on the past,” Laughton said.

4. Sam Ersson contributed to his bid to be on the opening night slate.

This is not a record: Ersson had another quality game, showing balance beyond his years. He stopped all 15 shots he faced in half the game. The nearly 23-year-old Swede finished with a .950 save percentage in the preseason, stopping 57 of 60 shots.

The situation for Philadelphia Flyers goaltenders is a bit murky. Both Carter Hart and Felix Sandstrom suffered unspecified injuries in camp. Hart said he will be fine for the Oct. 13 opener. Sandstrom, who had an outstanding camp, felt better the past two days, Tortorella said, but was still unavailable on Tuesday.

Stay tuned.

5. Owen Tippett is no longer bitten by a snake.

After being acquired in Claude Giroux’s trade at last year’s trade deadline, Tippett created plenty of chances but struggled to finish. He scored four goals in 21 games with the Flyers last season.

The same thing happened in pre-season games this year – until he leveled the score at 2-2 with 14:55 left in the third. Taking a perfect pass from Kevin Hayes, Tippett finished a two-on-one by whipping a shot into an open net from the left side.

Tippett had plenty of chances in the first two periods, including three at the gate. He finished with seven shots – and a much-needed boost of confidence.

breakaways

Travis Sanheim played 27:49 and blocked three shots. … Troy Grosenick allowed four goals on 18 shots. … The Philadelphia Flyers had a strong first period, getting four chances from close range in a scoreless session. “We were shaking things up and covering it too,” Laughton said. “I think that’s what makes a good game for our team: simplicity. “…Noah Cates (minus-2) had six hits and was in the middle of several scoring chances. … Jackson Cates’ lock-picking penalty put the Islanders on their winning power play. … Ronnie Attard (6-foot-3, 208), fighting the much larger Ross Johnston (6-foot-5, 230), lost a fight in the second period … The Flyers are expected to make plenty of cuts on Wednesday.

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