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Flyers vs. Devils Recap: The power play is sure ready for the season to start

In a preseason game primarily against New Jersey Devils regulars, the Flyers dominated, winning 4-0 on the back of three power play goals.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With the first round of training camp cuts now in the rearview mirror, the remaining players on the Flyers roster are either expected starters or hungry kids looking to earn their way into the opening night lineup. It was a combination of the vets and the kids that led the Flyers to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils tonight at Wells Fargo Center.

By the end of the first period, the Flyers were already up 3-0 due to three power play goals. The Devils were sloppy, as to be expected in preseason, and the power play made them pay. Brayden Schenn & Vincent Lecavalier started the scoring, and prospect Shayne Gostisbehere was also able to add his first goal of the official preseason on a slapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle. Fellow prospect Scott Laughton added the team's final goal in the second period off a beautiful feed from Jakub Voracek, and that would do it for the scoring.

Ten more observations on the game:

  • The big story will be Scott Laughton's performance. After an uninspiring start to training camp and the preseason, the general consensus was that Laughton would likely start the year in the AHL. Tonight may have changed that. He scored the Flyers' only even strength goal of the game and had two power play assists to lead the team with three points. Laughton's 5v5 game got better as the night progressed, and by the third period, he could make a case for being the best player on the ice. His best move of the night was a beautiful pass to Taylor Leier that he made in the second period while three Devils converged on him. Laughton may not be a future first liner, but tonight he reminded everyone why he is the team's most NHL-ready prospect.
  • After an up-and-down game on Monday, Shayne Gostisbehere delivered a standout performance tonight. He scored his first goal at the Wells Fargo Center since the Frozen Four during a first period power play, but it was the rest of his game that really stood out. Ghost Bear looked his best during zone exits, whether it was a slick first pass out of the defensive end or a quick burst through the neutral zone to open up the play. The issues in his own zone were basically nonexistent tonight, because the Flyers barely spent any time in their own zone with Gostisbehere on the ice. That's one way to minimize the impact of his supposed biggest weakness.
  • Brayden Schenn had his second straight strong preseason game, scoring the Flyers' first goal of the night and being active in all three zones. These may be exhibition games, but Schenn is backchecking like it's Game 1 of a playoff series, and I'm sure that effort is appreciated by the coaching staff. Berube specifically mentioned that Schenn has been playing a real 200-foot game this preseason. He was a menace in the neutral zone all night long.
  • It may be preseason, but let's take a minute to comment on just how great the Flyers' power play has looked in two games at the Wells Fargo Center. Seven goals in two games, and it hasn't been a fluke - regardless of personnel, puck movement has been top notch and Philadelphia is putting lots of pucks on net. Now, if only the coaches could fix the second unit during the regular season...
  • Samuel Morin showed flashes of brilliance, and also had some moments of real struggle. He was at his best during a first period penalty kill, when he cleared the crease, used his long reach to break up passes, and even used his speed to skate the length of the ice to waste time on the Devils power play. But he looked shaky at times as well, awkwardly falling on a Devils rush and struggling at moving the puck out of the zone early in the game. He very well might be able to survive physically in the NHL right now, but the rest of his game is just not there yet, even if he played a far more controlled game in the second and third periods. Did get schooled by Jagr late in the third, but what defenseman hasn't been shown up by that guy at least once?
  • The Gostisbehere-Morin pairing showed real potential for the future. With Gostisbehere handling the majority of the zone exits, it allowed Morin to focus on physicality and positioning, and Morin did get better as the game went on. After the game, Gostisbehere noted that there is a still a bit of a language barrier as Morin primarily speaks French, but that he really enjoys playing with him and they talk hockey pretty well. Ghost also mentioned that his father was from France, and joked that he may know a little bit of the language.
  • Jakub Voracek looks already in midseason form. Look out, Metropolitan Division.
  • He may not be the biggest or fastest player, but Jason Akeson just always seems to pop up in the right place on the ice. Really hope he gets an extended look with the big club this season.
  • Mentioned this on Twitter, but Taylor Leier strikes me as the perfect type of player to begin his NHL career on the 4th line and slowly work his way up the lineup if his offensive game develops. He's got solid instincts and a great work ethic on the ice, and would be a great fit for any team looking to add skill to their fourth line in a couple of years. A few times tonight, you saw glimpses of some real offensive skill, which hopefully for the Flyers will continue to develop in time.
  • Vinny looked a bit better tonight at even strength, so that's certainly a positive.