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Chemistry forming?

Top line, d-pair build chemistry in preseason loss to Bruins

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

The Flyers dropped to 0-2-1 on the preseason as they lost, 3-1 to the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. Danton Heinen (1st), Peter Cehlarik (1st) and Connor Clifton (1st) scored for Boston. Matt Niskanen (1st) had the lone Flyers tally.

Brian Elliott got the start for the Flyers, and played the first and second periods. He stopped of 22 of 24 shots. Alex Lyon entered at the start of the third period, and went the rest of the way. He stopped 9 of 10.

Jaroslav Halak started for the Bruins. He turned back 16 of 17 shots over two periods. Maxime Lagace came in for the third period, and denied all seven he faced.

NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:

* On the game's first prime scoring chance, Andy Andreoff and Morgan Frost got behind the Boston defense. Frost was robbed near the left post on a great save by Halak. At the other end, Elliott made a tough save of his own off a Boston rush.

* At 11:58 of the first, the Flyers got a goal back. A Matt Niskanen blast from the right point made its way through traffic in front and beat Halak. The assists went to Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Video: BOS@PHI: Niskanen goes upstairs with heavy slapper

* A snakebitten Frost hit the right post on a deflection on the power play and then put his followup attempt into a Halak's desperately lunging glove.

* Frost helped save a potential odd-man rush with a strong backchecking play after Gostibehere pinched on an attempted keep but the puck got past him.

* Kyle Criscuolo is a high-motor player, which he has to be at his size to be effective. He turned in a strong forechecking shift on his first time on the ice... After he got rocked by a heavy hit in the Boston zone, the intensity picked up. In succession, Rubtsov, Myers (on Backes) and Niskanen landed solid body checks.Video: Hear from Flyers following loss to BOS

* The Bruins made it 2-1. at 4:16. It was a broken play but Flyers got caught in a line change initially and never quite recovered. Phil Myers made a nice play initially to break it up but then got caught watching the puck. Cehlarik ended up with a back-door tap in off the pass from Brendan Gaunce.

* Alex Lyon started the third and made an excellent glove save on a turnaround shot by Jake DeBrusk from the dead slot early in the period.

* The quick stick of Justin Braun saved a sure-fire goal early in the third.

* Special teams practice continued. Clifton took another trip the box (slashing) and Flyers went to the power play with 5:51 left, trailing 2-1. There was not enough energy shown from PP1 and Boston had easy clears. As the penalty expired (with PP2 out), Lyon did not tap his stick to warn his teammates. Clifton then got a breakaway past a diving Farabee, and scored to make it 3-1.

QUOTE BOOK:

NISKANEN: "I don't think we played very good tonight, at least I didn't play very good... I played a certain way for six years, and there are things I need to work on, get some reps in, so you're not hesitating.... Neutral zone forecheck is one. We're more aggressive. I like the aggressiveness, but there's some adjustments."

COUTURIER: "I don't think it's really X and Os. If you look at the game system-wise, it wasn't bad. It was more turnovers, trying to make some extra plays where sometimes it's not there. Guys are trying to make a good impression. Sometimes trying to make a little too much. I thought a few turnovers, we could've been better. I thought that's mostly how they created their chances."

FROST: "Definitely shaking my head. Don't know he got it, to be honest... I thought I played pretty well. There were a couple of mistakes I made with the puck in the defensive zone, but overall I thought I did OK."Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to BOS

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