It wasn’t always pretty, but the Flyers started the preseason off right with a 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils, Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Darroll Powe, Jeff Carter and Danny Briere each had a goal and rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky took home the win with three shootout saves and seven in regulation. Goaltender Michael Leighton started the game strong, but slowed down in the second period. He finished with 20 saves on 23 shots. Claude Giroux and Mike Richards scored in the shootout.
Claude Giroux – The third-year forward started slow the past two seasons, but appeared to be in continuation of his playoff form on Tuesday. With a jump to his step and his typical confidence with the puck, Giroux, who is in a contract year, had an assist in the Flyers’ first goal and was pressing all night.
James van Riemsdyk – All reports coming into Tuesday’s contest had the second-year forward in the best shape of his life and looking stronger and quicker than ever. That was confirmed against the Devils, as van Riemsdyk tore past defenders and put his firm wrist shot on display. JVR was held scoreless but was a plus-1 with three shots and used his speed on the edge to draw a key penalty in overtime.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Seeing his first professional action in North America, the rookie goaltender acquired by the Flyers from Russia in the offseason, was impressive. Instead of nerves, Bobrovsky,22, flashed quickness and savvy, making seven saves in the third period and overtime to send the Flyers into a shootout. There, he stood out once again, making three-of-four saves to give Philadelphia the win.
Michael Leighton’s Second Period – Just when you thought it was safe to not worry about Leighton coming down to earth this season, after a solid first period, bad rebound goals by Dainius Zubrus and Jamie Langenbrunner reopened the questions.
Nik Zherdev — Despite a solid effort on the offensive end, Zherdev finished the contest a minus-3 and missed a crucial shootout attempt. A sign of things to come or a fluke?