The Philadelphia Flyers opened the NHL Preseason on Tuesday night in Toronto doing something they couldn’t do in 82 games last season, shut out an opponent. The Flyers defeated Toronto 4-0 in front of 18,480 disappointed Leafs fans, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 27 shots he faced and looked sharp all night.
Four different Flyers found the back of the net, including three rookies, Zac Rinaldo, Mike Testwuide and the Flyers 1st round pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft Sean Couturier. Newly acquired Wayne Simmonds also scored on a beautiful deflection in front of Toronto goaltender James Reimer.
Zac Rinaldo, who usually does his talking on the ice with his physicality and fists, scored the Flyers first goal. Rinaldo has done his best to prove that he’s more than just another “tough guy.” Scoring on a breakaway backhanded shot is certainly a start. “”I’ve been itching to bring the finesse out, and I finally brought it,” Rinaldo said.
For Rinaldo, Testwuide and Couturier, these preseason games are their chance to shine in their fight for roster spots on the big club. Matt Read and Brayden Schenn also had strong games, registering an assist apiece.
The Flyers looked strong from the opening faceoff, supplying speed and a strong fore-check that ultimately led to a 3 goal 2nd period. It may be only one preseason game but the Flyers were impressive, especially since the majority of the roster from Tuesday night will find themselves playing in Adirondack when the season opens.
The Flyers and Leafs will go at it again Wednesday night, this time in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers new man between the pipes, Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start Wednesday night against the Leafs.
– Defensemen Matt Carle had a quiet 2 point game, assisting on Simmonds and Testwuide’s goals.
– Adam Mair, in camp on a try-out contract, looked decent during the little ice time he saw.
– Tom Sestito started his campaign for Jody Shelley‘s role, fighting former Flyers Joffrey Lupul on his way to 7 PIM.
– Flyers rookies Brayden Schenn and Blake Kessel shared the ice with their older brothers Luke Schenn and Phil Kessel.