3rd Star: Shayne Gostisbehere
It looked like Gostisbehere wouldn’t even be playing Wednesday night after he suffered an upper-body injury in the final preseason game Sunday night. Luckily for the Flyers, he was ready to go in San Jose.
The 24 year old didn’t see a ton of ice time, but he made the most of it on the power play. One of his shots on the man advantage was tipped in by Wayne Simmonds, on another Simmonds PPG goal, he earned a secondary assist and made the initial breakout pass on Jordan Weal’s goal giving him three assists on the night.
He also recorded an assist in Sunday’s game. Again on the power play and again with Simmonds scoring the goal.
2nd Star: Jake Voracek
Last week, Voracek was the dud. I guessed then that it was just preseason kinks keeping the veteran from his usual playing standards and it seems to be that way after the first game of the regular season.
Voracek was the best Flyers forward on the ice. He was flying as per usual, while using his body to shield the puck and helped set up his teammates for some chances. His assist came off a bad play from Martin Jones, but the Czech Republic native was in the right spot and acted quickly to intercept the pass.
He also added an assist against the New York Islanders in the final preseason game on Sunday evening.
1st Star: Wayne Simmonds
On the ice last night, I thought Voracek actually had the better game than Simmonds, but when you score a hat trick in the only meaningful game of the week, you get the first star.
The former King deflected two shots in on the power play and then added an empty net goal to lead the Flyers to their 5-3 win Wednesday night.
Besides the scoring, Simmonds showed potential with Jordan Weal and Nolan Patrick, giving the Flyers a solid second scoring line. Simmonds won’t score three goals every night, but it was a strong showing of what’s to come from him, his linemates and the power play.
Dud: Brandon Manning
I’ve done three of these and Manning has been a dud twice. Simply put, he’s not playing at the level of an NHL defenseman.
In the season opener, he was the worst defenseman on the ice. While paired with Radko Gudas, who didn’t have a great game himself, Manning frequently screwed up his coverage, committing to one side or an opponent.
He also took a penalty in the first period that led to the San Jose Sharks’ tying goal at 2-2. There was plenty of reason to scratch Manning before last night, but there should only be more after Wednesday night.