Flyers toppled by Lightning in shootout, 7-6

By Rob Riches, Sports Talk Philly staff 

As the Flyers played out of their minds over the month of February, they were humbled in their last game by Carolina. Not the prettiest game, but they had a quick chance to bounce back in a tough measuring-stick game against a vaunted Tampa Bay team.

Through two periods and part of the 3rd on Saturday, it looked like the Flyers could keep pace with a tepid-paced Lightning offense. A three-goal period, from JT Miller, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos, nearly sank them, but Claude Giroux's goal tied it late in the 3rd period helped get them a point in a wild 7-6 shootout loss.

Stamkos was a thorn in the Flyers' side all game long, scoring two goals and adding three helpers for the first five-point game of his career. He also sealed the victory for the Lightning, scoring in the third round of the shootout to end it. Hedman had two goals and two assists, while Nikita Kucherov picked up three assists.

Three Flyers earned multi-point games as well. Ivan Provorov led the way with a goal and two assists, while Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist and former Lightning Valtteri Filppula had two assists.

Nolan Patrick got the Flyers started in the 1st period, giving them a 1-0 lead on the power play. Stamkos countered just 68 seconds later, but Voracek and Robert Hagg tallied before the end of the period for a 3-1 lead.

Hedman and Dan Girardi scored to tie the game in the 2nd period, with the latter earning his first career goal against the Orange and Black. Jori Lehtera found twine before the period, though, earning his second goal as a Flyer to put them back on top.

Provorov struck 1:06 into the 3rd, giving the Flyers their second two-goal lead of the day despite pressure mounting for the Bolts. One three-goal outburst later, the Flyers found themselves down in a 6-5 hole that looked like it would get much worse before it could get any better. Giroux tied it with 2:53 left on the clock, and the Flyers were playing with renewed energy.

When the Lightning needed him most, Andrei Vasilevskiy came up big. He stopped several key chances for the Flyers, several of which came on a power play. At one point, the Flyers had an extra man on the ice before a penalty could be called, and a Kucherov broken stick added to that. The 23-year-old netminder stood tall along the way.

Vasilevskiy totalled 37 saves on 43 shots, no easy feat. Petr Mrazek wasn't as tested, but he finished with 29 saves on 35 shots.

The loss gets the Flyers a point in the standings, after snapping a 12-game point streak. It also moves them into a tie for first place with Washington, and three points ahead of Pittsburgh. Washington is set to play the Stadium Series matchup with Toronto tonight, though that matchup is in the air right now because of weather concerns.

Every once in a while, you can pepper a team in shots and dominate in the faceoff circle, and it still won't matter. It's not easy to do something like that against a dominant Lightning team, but the Flyers managed to find a way. Ultimately, the Orange and Black managed a point out of it.

The Flyers next take on Florida tomorrow, quickly wrapping up their two-game jaunt to the Sunshine State.

Box Score

  1 2 3 OT SO T
Flyers 3 1 2 0 0 6
Lightning 1 2 3 0 2 7

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • PHI Nolan Patrick (10) PPG (Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek) 7:08
  • TBL Steven Stamkos (26) PPG (Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov) 8:16
  • PHI Voracek (14) (Patrick) 14:30
  • PHI Robert Hagg (3) (Scott Laughton, Ivan Provorov) 18:07

2nd Period

  • TBL Hedman (10) (Stamkos, Kucherov) 5:57
  • PHI Jori Lehtera (2) (Jordan Weal, Valtteri Filppula) 16:15

3rd Period

  • PHI Ivan Provorov (12) (Filppula) 1:06
  • TBL JT Miller (14) (Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point) 4:23
  • TBL Stamkos 2 (27) (Kucherov, Alex Killorn) 5:57
  • TBL Hedman 2 (11) (Stamkos) 10:03
  • PHI Giroux (23) (Sean Couturier, Provorov) 17:07

Overtime

  • None

Shootout

  • Cory Conacher Save
  • Sean Couturier Save
  • Brayden Point Goal
  • Nolan Patrick Save
  • Steven Stamkos Goal

Game Statistics

  Flyers Lightning
Shots 43 35
Power Plays 1/5 1/1
Hits 16 16
Faceoff % 60% 40%
Giveaways 10 6
Takeaways 3 12
Blocked Shots 11 11
Penalty Minutes 4 12