flyers preseason

Closer to NHL lineup, Flyers further evaluate roster hopefuls in preseason win

The team has one exhibition game left before its Oct. 12 regular-season opener

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Featuring much more of an NHL look Monday night, the Flyers picked up a 3-1 preseason win over the Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center.

Cam Atkinson, Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee provided the Flyers' goals.

Morgan Frost recorded two assists, while Owen Tippett, Sean Couturier and Ronnie Attard had one apiece.

The Flyers improved to 2-2-1 in the preseason. They have one more to go before the Oct. 12 regular-season opener.

After evaluating the first four exhibition games from up top alongside general manager Danny Briere, head coach John Tortorella was back behind the bench.

Could the final preseason game serve as a dress rehearsal?

"I think in my mind right now, it'll be close to our lineup," Tortorella said. "Danny and I, it's tough talking right after a game, we're going to talk tomorrow. We've had great conversations as far as what he needs for the future, just to see guys. We'll have that conversation. If he needs to see some players before we make a decision on them, they'll go in. But I think we both are thinking it'll be pretty close to what we feel our lineup will be. Maybe one or two spots will be different in that aspect."

• Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster and Wade Allison, all vying for the final jobs up front, had another opportunity to make an impression on the Flyers' decision-makers.

Brink didn't score but he showed his vision and smarts on the power play. He has been one of the Flyers' best players in camp and the preseason.

"He made a ton of plays tonight," Tortorella said. "The puck follows him around. You can see he's looking for that next play, I think he has that innate ability that you can't teach to see the next play. He continues to impress."

Foerster didn't score and finished with one shot. The Flyers' power play had good zone time but couldn't score in 8:03 minutes of work. The 21-year-old winger has been responsible in his two-way game but the offense just hasn't quite been there.

"I thought Tyson's 5-on-5 play was good," Tortorella said. "I think he's fighting it a little bit on the power play."

Coming off his best preseason performance Saturday, Allison continued to play bottom-six type of minutes. He had five hits and a blocked shot. He has definitely played his game.

• Tortorella thought defensive prospect Egor Zamula "played really well" Friday night in Boston. It was the 23-year-old's first preseason game.

In Zamula's second game, also against the Bruins, he didn't have the puck on his stick as much and was OK in the defensive zone. He didn't hurt his chances at the roster, though.

With Attard, Tortorella felt there was "a little bit of a struggle to his game" Saturday night against the Devils.

The 24-year-old defenseman had a more confident look Monday night. He was a plus-2 and blocked four shots. Good response from him.

"I think [he was] more assertive, I think he wanted to try to make plays," Tortorella said. "He gets an assist on the goal. I concentrate so much on the forwards and what's going on there, I'll have to watch the tape. But I noticed Ronnie more tonight.

"Still made some mistakes, but I think he tried to make plays. I think that's very important. We don't just want him [playing the puck] off the glass, we want to try to make more plays. You talk about Bobby and all that, we need to create more and have the puck more by making more plays."

• Samuel Ersson helped his cause in the backup goalie competition. He wasn't tested a ton but he played the full game and registered 13 saves.

Ersson is battling with Cal Petersen and Felix Sandstrom for the No. 2 job.

Through three appearances, Ersson has stopped 33 of 37 shots. Two of the four goals he has allowed were to David Pastrnak.

Ersson turns only 24 years old later this month and is still waivers exempt. He'd be the guy in Lehigh Valley if the Flyers have him open the season in the AHL. Either way, the Flyers feel he's a part of the future.

"It's really out of my control. I know all I can do is focus on the games and try to perform," Ersson said. "That's what I did. I've been pretty happy with my performance so far.

"I know I have to keep proving myself, that's where I'm at and keep working."

After a shaky preseason opener, Petersen rebounded in a big way three days ago at TD Garden.

With the Kings looking to clear cap space this offseason, Petersen came to the Flyers in the three-team Ivan Provorov trade. He turns 29 this month and would have to clear waivers if he were to be sent to the Phantoms. His $5 million annual cap hit over the next two seasons could steer clubs away from trying to claim him.

Boston backup Jeremy Swayman stopped 21 of the Flyers' 24 shots.

• Atkinson tied the game early in the second period when he flipped home a backhanded shot.

"I feel good, I feel like I put myself in tougher areas and felt good kind of bouncing off hits, making plays and holding onto the puck," Atkinson said. "I'm only going to continue to feel better and just more confident."

Even with it being a preseason goal, that one had to feel good. Atkinson missed all of last season with a neck injury. The 34-year-old winger was playing in his second exhibition game. He's hoping to play a third with the finale.

"Once you get the first game out of the way, I think the second game your timing starts getting a little bit better and by the third time, you're kind of gearing up for the start of the regular season," Atkinson said Saturday.

Couturier's assist was his first point in three preseason games. He has looked better and better.

"I thought it was probably the best he has looked to me since camp," Tortorella said. "He made a couple of good plays. Just what he brings, just those little plays that people don't think about, he's so solid that way."

• Cam York saw his first game action since the preseason opener a week ago. The 22-year-old defenseman had missed a couple of practices because of an undisclosed injury.

The Flyers are looking at York and Rasmus Ristolainen as a potential pair for opening night.

"The less amount of time that we can spend in the D-zone is obviously a lot better and more ideal, so I think for us, our game plan is just try to defend quick, get out of there as quickly as possible and go play offense," York said Monday morning. "Offensively, that's where I feel like I'm really good and can thrive."

• The Flyers trimmed their roster by nine players Monday afternoon. More on the cuts and final position battles here.

• After a day off Tuesday, the Flyers practice Wednesday (11 a.m. ET) and host the Islanders to wrap up the preseason Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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