There were a lot of positives in the Flyers' 4-1 win Saturday in Boston, which enabled them to end their preseason schedule with a 4-3-1 record.
Here are five observations:
Goalie Brian Elliott, who had core-muscle surgery in February and a hip operation after the season, has not looked like himself in the preseason.
Elliott stopped 26 of 27 shots, and he was sensational as he turned aside all 14 shots in a Boston-dominated second period to spark the win.
There had been doubts that Elliott would be 100 percent by Thursday's opener in Las Vegas. No more.
"He looked comfortable. He was patient in the net in letting plays come to him and was solid all the way through," coach Dave Hakstol said.
Right winger Wayne Simmonds, who had off-season abdominal surgery, played in his first game of the preseason and claimed he felt a little rusty. Didn't look it. Simmonds had a goal and an assist and didn't back away from contact. He had three shots and three hits.
Simmonds said it was "huge" to play in a preseason game. "There's rust you have to overcome, and just getting the timing down, getting your position down in the defensive zone, and trying to jell with your linemates," he said.
"He played his game, played the way he's most effective," Hakstol said.
Hakstol also liked what he saw from top-line center Sean Couturier, who also played in his first preseason game after rehabbing from a knee injury.
Couturier played 15:08, was effective on the penalty kill, took three shots, and won four of five faceoffs.
"It's not absolutely critical these guys get a game in; its a luxury," Hakstol said. "But it's nice to be able to knock off a little bit of the rust in tight spaces with the puck. The pace of the game is a little quicker than practice and the space is a little tighter."
Rookie Mikhail Vorobeyev, the 21-year-old Russian center who has been perhaps the Flyers' biggest surprise in camp, solidified his spot as the third-line center as he collected two more assists. He finished with a team-high seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven preseason games.
Michael Raffl had two goals, including a shorthanded tally, and will undoubtedly be a regular when the season starts.
Wingers Jori Lehtera (two assists) and Taylor Leier (goal, assist) — two players fighting to stay on the roster — also excelled.
Jordan Weal, who is fighting for a lineup spot, didn't score but played well.
GM Ron Hextall will have to make some difficult decisions before rosters have to be submitted to the league office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
The first nine forward spots seem set: Claude Giroux, Couturier, Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk, Nolan Patrick, Jake Voracek, Oskar Lindblom, Vorobyev, and Simmonds.
After that, it gets a little murky. The Flyers figure to carry five other forwards, and they have six players vying for those spots: Raffl, Scott Laughton, Weal, Lehtera, Leier, and Dale Weise.
Leier, Lehtera and Raffl helped the Flyers go 5 for 6 on the penalty kill Saturday.
On defense, Phil Myers and Mark Friedman will probably be sent to the AHL's Phantoms. Myers had an assist but struggled defensively on Saturday, while the speedy Friedman played solidly.
As for the goaltender, the only decision is who serves as Elliott's backup, Anthony Stolarz or Carter Hart? Hextall would like Hart to get some AHL seasoning, so he is expected to go to Lehigh Valley. For a while, anyhow.