Lightning Strikes Again as Flyers Fall for 8th Straight Game
Less than three week ago, the Flyers got a last-second goal to tie the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and force overtime. The Flyers ultimately lost the game in a shootout.
Since then, the Flyers had suffered six more losses in a row leading into Sunday's night final meeting of the season against the Lightning. This one didn't go any better than the previous seven games, as the Lightning struck early and often in a 7-1 result at Wells Fargo Center.
In the early part of the game, the Flyers had the jump on a Tampa Bay team that had played twice in the previous three nights, opening up a 6-2 lead in shots and winning a lot of puck battles in the offensive zone. Then a transition rush changed all of that in a hurry.
Ivan Provorov failed to keep the puck in the zone. That allowed the Lightning to move up on a rush and expose the gaps allowed by the Flyers. An initial shot from Steven Stamkos was stopped, but the rebound was put home by Ryan McDonagh, making it a 1-0 Lightning lead at 8:24.
One minute later, the Lightning added another goal off a bounce. McDonagh fired from the blue line and had the shot bounce off the end boards and right to Corey Perry, who was able to spin and put it home to make it 2-0.
The Flyers out-shot the Lightning, 14-9, in the opening period and had the better of possession, but were once again chasing a game with a two-goal deficit.
The Lightning were able to build on their lead just 2:56 into the second period. Taylor Raddysh came up the wing on a rush and fired a shot over Carter Hart to make it 3-0.
Less than four minutes later, the Lightning struck again. A shot by Victor Hedman left a rebound and after a couple of chances, Boris Katchouk was able to put it home to make it 4-0 at 6:47.
The Flyers got a power play moments later, and the disaster continued. Hart came out of his net to play a puck away from Mathieu Joseph, but the Tampa Bay forward was able to knock it down and put it into the empty net as Hart dove back in desperation. That made it a 5-0 game at 8:34 of the second period.
That was the end of Hart's night, as he allowed five goals on 15 shots. Martin Jones came on in relief.
The Flyers even had a potential goal late in the period called back. The puck got behind Brian Elliott and appeared to go into the net, but was ruled no goal on the ice. The horn sounded to signal a review and it appeared the Flyers were at least going to break up the shutout bid. Instead, after review, it was determined that Scott Laughton knocked it down with a high stick, resulting in no goal on the ice.
Through two periods, it was a 5-0 game and shots were 24-18.
Tampa Bay added to their lead in the third. At 5:29, Pat Maroon got in on the action with a goal from in front.
The Flyers got on the board to break up the shutout bid for Elliott at 7:04, as Cam Atkinson deflected a pass from Claude Giroux into the net to make it 6-1. The Lightning got the goal back at 14:15 of the third with another goal by Perry, this time a deflection on the power play.
Elliott made 38 saves in the win. Jones stopped 10 of 12 shots in relief.
Five Lightning players had multi-point games. Four of them – Perry, McDonagh, Hedman, and Ross Colton – had three-point games.
The Flyers get right back on the ice again on Monday night, as they face off against the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m.
- TB Ryan McDonagh (2) (Steven Stamkos, Mathieu Joseph) 8:24
- TB Corey Perry (4) (McDonagh, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) 9:24
- TB Taylor Raddysh (2) (Victor Hedman, Ross Colton) 2:56
- TB Boris Katchouk (1) (Colton, Hedman) 6:47
- TB Joseph (4) SH (Unassisted) 8:34
- TB Pat Maroon (5) (Perry, Hedman) 5:29
- PHI Cam Atkinson (8) PP (Claude Giroux, Keith Yandle) 7:04
- TB Perry (5) PP (McDonagh, Colton) 14:15
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.