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Split-Squad Recap: Isles 3, Flyers 2

Defenseman Devon Toews plays forward as Islanders beat Flyers at Barclays Center

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

The New York Islanders went 1-0-1 in split-squad action on Wednesday night, skating to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center, while dropping a 3-2 OT decision at PPL Center in Allentown, PA. 

Andrew Ladd's power-play goal held up as the game-winner in Brooklyn, tapping in a Jordan Eberle rebound with 2:50 to play. That made it 3-1 and while T.J. Brennan cut the deficit with 1:06 to play, the Islanders held on for the win. 

Devon Toews and Johnny Boychuk also scored for the Islanders, while Travis Konecny rounded out the scoresheet in Brooklyn. 

Tweet from @NYIslanders: GOAL!! ���� Turcotte feeds it to @joboych who puts it away to give the #Isles a 2-1 lead! pic.twitter.com/KhNRojLdZ2
MEANWHILE… IN ALLENTOWN

Anders Lee forced overtime with 24 seconds to play in the third period, but Shayne Gostisbehere won it for the Flyers in the extra frame. Mathew Barzal opened the scoring with a power-play goal, while Taylor Leier scored a pair for Philadelphia.

Read a full recap from Allentown.

TOEWS THE FORWARD:

Defenseman Devon Toews hadn't played an even strength forward shift in 10 years. He'd played a little forward on the penalty kill at Quinnipiac University, but it came as a bit of a surprise when Doug Weight pulled him aside and told him he'd be playing left wing on Wednesday. 

Call it the Thomas Hickey treatment, as a late scratch to Michael Dal Colle - and half the Islanders playing in Allentown - thrust Toews to the third line left wing alongside Jeff Kubiak and Tanner Fritz. The speedy Bridgeport blue liner made the the most of it, scoring a first-period goal. 

"The guys were ripping on me a bit, saying if I can score, anybody should be able to score," Toews said. "I just tried to keep it simple, I had two good line mates and I think we were buzzing a bit today."

Video: Preseason Postgame: Devon Toews

 Don't expect Toews to see anymore action at forward, but he said it was fun for a night. Weight used the occasion to give Toews some praise for his rise over the past year. The Abbotsford, BC native scored 45 points (5G, 40A) in his first season with the Sound Tigers and won the AHL's fastest skater competition. 

Weight said this summer was the biggest jump he'd seen from Toews, who he said looked like he'd graduated from the team's Mini Camp in June. 

"He's continued to impress," Weight said. "He had a real steady climb. He just kept getting better and better… He's very smart, makes a lot of little plays, really good positionally and he's just continued to improve."

GREISS MAKES PRESEASON DEBUT:

Thomas Greiss made his preseason debut on Wednesday night, stopping 17-of-18 shots in 40 minutes of action. The Flyers beat Greiss 52 seconds into the contest, but the 31-year-old goalie shut the door the rest of the way, looking like his nimble self on a great 2-on-0 toe save off Connor Bunnaman in the second period. 

"He made some big saves in the second," Weight said. "A couple of backdoors where he's over there waiting. That's what Thomas does so well. He moves. He's got a little Federer in him. He's an athlete, but a big guy, but he gets over and he's waiting for pucks a lot. He's got some great anticipation."

DAL COLLE'S STATUS:

Doug Weight said Michael Dal Colle experienced some tightness on Wednesday, so the coach made the decision to rest the 2014 first-round pick. Weight said it was something Dal Colle could have played through, but didn't want to risk an injury in preseason. 

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