NEWARK, N.J. -- Even with a “B” lineup that wasn’t expected to defeat the Devils, the lack of competition in a 4-1 loss ate at Flyers coach Peter Laviolette on Thursday.
“We were competitive in the first period, but it seemed we didn’t handle the pressure, the puck or the physicality in the second,” Laviolette said.
“Guys you were looking to respond needed to respond better. … That’s what I don’t get. We’re in a training camp, an evaluation period and a process for guys to put their cards on the table, and I was disappointed in that tonight.”
The Flyers hung goalie Steve Mason (21 saves) out to dry in the second period, with two goals in the crease and one deflection.
“He played terrific,” Laviolette said. “What I liked about him, when we were not having a lot of composure with the puck and things were turning over and the attempts were coming at him, he stayed in it. Mentally, he was sharp right to end.”
Laviolette said there was ample room to improve offensively.
After having a goal wiped out in the first period, the Devils scored twice in the first 67 seconds of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Both goals -- from Damien Brunner and Ryane Clowe -- were in the crease area. Keep in mind, eight Flyer regulars weren’t in the lineup.
It was 3-0 at the end of two periods. Matt Read scored the Flyers' lone goal with a short-handed breakaway against goalie Keith Kinkaid in the third period.
The Flyers came into the game with just 11 goals (not counting shootouts) in their previous five exhibition games.
Had this been a more normal preseason schedule in which the final two exhibitions were spaced a day apart instead of back-to-back, Laviolette would have played his regulars -- those expected to open the season.
Instead, those players will appear Friday night in Washington during the Flyers’ preseason finale against the Capitals.
Those who didn’t dress against the Devils: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Vinny Lecavalier, Scott Hartnell, Zac Rinaldo, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Mark Streit, Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon (post-concussion syndrome), who is expected to go on LTIR next week.
Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, however, played in his fourth game. The club appears to be showcasing him for a trade, but with his $4 million salary cap hit that is no easy task, even though this is the final year of his contract.
Called up from the Phantoms were Nick Cousins, Ben Holmstrom and Tye McGinn.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Michael Wolf will issue a proclamation to the Flyers' “Face Off for Fitness presented by Virtua” program Friday, honoring the work being done to promote healthy lifestyles for children and encouraging participation in youth sports.
The presentation will occur at the Holy Rosary School in Plymouth Meeting. The proclamation is endorsed by Governor Tom Corbett. Flyers Ambassador of Hockey Todd Fedoruk will accept this honor and will lead the session with children in attendance.
Since its inception in 2009, the Flyers' “Face Off for Fitness presented by Virtua” program has visited over 150 schools reaching over 10,000 children.