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Flyers vs. Islanders recap: Flyers fall 5-2 in preseason finale

“Dress rehearsal” goes off with a large hitch as final cuts loom.

NHL: Preseason-New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers completed their 2017 preseason schedule with a 5-2 loss to the Islanders tonight.

Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds scored, but the Flyers couldn’t overcome a three-goal third-period lead as the Islanders carried play for the better part of the game. Thomas Greiss was excellent in net for New York, stopping 31 of 33 shots to get the win. Brian Elliott was not as good for the Flyers, allowing four goals on just 21 shots.

The Flyers came out with a strong first 20 minutes, but didn’t take a lead into the first intermission thanks to a soft Islanders goal and never seemed to recover.

First period

Michael Raffl would opened up the scoring, finishing a nice pass from Scott Laughton on a two-on-one to give the Flyers an early 1-0 lead just 2:21 in.

On their first extended power play of the evening the Flyers' second unit looked dangerous with Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov creating a couple nice chances. It certainly looked as though the confidence the Flyers gained on the man-advantage against Boston in Thursday carried over to this one.

After spending most of the period watching the Flyers carry play, Brian Elliott stood tall on a scoring chance from Jordan Eberle with 8:20 left in the first. Elliott did a nice job holding the ground in his crease as the Islanders crashed the net hard.

The Islanders would tie things up with Dennis Seidenberg beating Elliott at the 13:10 mark to even the score at 1-1. The puck seemed to knuckle toward Elliott, who got some of it, but not enough to keep it out of the net. Arguably the best mustachioed man in hockey, Cal Clutterbuck, and Stephen Gionta got the assists on the goal.

Overall the Flyers ended up wasting a solid effort as they controlled much of play in the bulk of the first period. They outshot the Islanders 13-7 and dominated in the faceoff dot, winning 12 of 18 draws to help drive possession. Elliott would like to have that soft goal back, as it wiped out a solid period from the group in front of him.

Second period

On an early power play with Travis Konecny in the box, the Islanders cashed in with an Anders Lee goal to give the visitors the 2-1 lead just 2:22 into the period. Lee pounced on a loose puck in front of Elliott after a point shot went wide and caromed in front of the Flyers net.

Less than a minute later the Islanders would take a 3-1 lead on an Anthony Beauvillier goal from the left circle at the 3:07 mark. Though Elliott didn’t have much of a chance on the second goal, this one was another that the veteran would like to have back.

New York really controlled the first half of the second frame, pinning the Flyers in their own zone after building momentum with Lee’s power play tally. After two quick goals Elliott was able to stop the bleeding with a nice glove save on Seidenberg at the top of his crease to keep the Flyers within two.

The Flyers nearly got one back with a productive power play in the second half of the period, but Thomas Greiss made saves on Jordan Weal and Claude Giroux to keep score at 3-1. Both power play units generated chances despite not burying one, with the top unit looking particularly good.

Just before the end of the second tempers flared up when Brandon Manning boarded Mathew Barzal in the corner, resulting in both teams coming together and drawing matching penalties as the Islanders retaliated for the hit.

On the ensuing four-on-four Jake Voracek would take a slashing penalty to give the Islanders a power play to start the third period but not before New York’s Ryan Pulock would ring one off the post just before the buzzer.

Third period

The Islanders would make that power play count to start the third with Beauvillier scoring his second goal of the game to make it 4-1 just 32 second in. It was a nice cross-ice pass from Mathew Barzal to setup Beauvillier, with Ryan Pulock getting the other assist on the goal.

Down three, the Flyers’ second power play unit generated a couple good chances to try and put a dent in the Islanders’ lead, but Thomas Greiss stood tall with a couple saves on Konecny and Weal to shut that down. Konecny and Weal in particular have made the second unit dangerous with their quickness on the puck.

But it was the first power play unit who would find the back of the net, though. Wayne Simmonds tipped home a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot to pull the Flyers within two at the 6:32 mark. Jake Voracek picked up the other assist.

The Flyers’ comeback bid would be halted a bit by a pair of penalties to Simmonds and Scott Laughton to put the Islanders up two men with less than eight minutes left in the game. Both calls were of the—you guessed it—slashing variety, an emphasis point from the league to the officials.

Those penalties killed off the momentum that Simmonds’ goal gave the Flyers though the fourth line of Raffl, Laughton, and Taylor Leier created a scoring chance with two minutes left that was turned aside by Greiss. The Islanders’ netminder was very good in this one, stopping 31 of 33 shots.

On the possible injury news front, Shayne Gostisbehere left the Flyers’ bench late in the third period and did not return.

Steve Bernier would add an empty net goal to extend the Islanders’ lead to 5-2 and put a bow on the end of the preseason for both clubs.

Next up: Flyers at Sharks, Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on NBCSN and 97.5 The Fanatic