PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Hershey Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms are set to meet 14 times during the regular season in the 2022-23 season and will clash on the American Hockey League’s first weekend and cap off the campaign on the last weekend against each other. On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the two sides got acquainted ahead of time in their parent NHL club’s uniforms as the Flyers and the Washington Capitals met for a preseason game at Wells Fargo Center. Washington’s top free agent acquisitions stole the show, but prospects on each side made an impact in a 3-1 decision for the Capitals.
Both teams utilized goaltenders with heavy AHL experience over the years as Charlie Lindgren stepped into the crease for game action as a Capital for the first time after leading the Springfield Thunderbirds to the Calder Cup Finals as well as Bears staple Zach Fucale in the third period. Philadelphia led with netminder Felix Sandstrom and finished the third period with Samuel Ersson between the pipes. Both sets of goaltenders figure to be the number two and three within the organization and had important games to show off their game. Lindgren posted a clean sheet with 13 saves, Fucale had seven of eight, and Sandstrom stopped 13 of 15 with Ersson stopping 11 of 12.
Not to be outdone by Brown, Dylan Strome takes a nice feed from Bobby Nardella and hits the one-timer to capitalize on a power-play opportunity. Capitals hold a 2-0 lead behind the strength of the new guys. pic.twitter.com/FmINy4cPV9
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) September 29, 2022
With so many prospects on the ice for both teams, it made for an important game for numerous players getting into game action for the first time in the preseason. Philadelphia got strong performances from Wade Allison, Owen Tippett, Isaac Ratcliffe, and Tyson Foerster, with the Flyers playing a heavy physical game and pressuring the Capitals in what will surely be a complex series of games between the Bears and Phantoms this season. On the Washington side of things, the Capitals had a pair of assists from Bobby Nardella at the blue line quarterbacking the power play at the center point, something to watch for in Hershey this season. Aliaksei Protas stood out in his second preseason game despite not factoring in on the scoresheet this game alongside former Phantom Mike Vecchione and Lucas Johansen. It was the first chance to see Henrik Borgstrom, Gabriel Carlsson, and Henry Rybinski in action, who all acquitted themselves well in the win.
Nice deception from Owen Tippett and Hollywood slams it home pic.twitter.com/bxPCTa4Pcv
— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) September 29, 2022
Joe Snively continued his strong preseason with a number of brilliant plays, a plus-two rating, and two shots on goal. A surprise addition to the roster for Washington was Hershey forward Kale Kessy, who nearly got into fisticuffs with Philadelphia’s summer addition Nic Deslauriers but was separated by the officials. Among Phantoms players to impress were Egor Zamula at the back end and Tanner Laczynski. Both teams made their first round of roster cuts concerning players being sent to their junior clubs, but no assignments to the AHL have been made since Wednesday’s game. Philadelphia gets back into preseason action as the calendar flips on Saturday in Boston, while Washington plays on Friday in Detroit.
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