Flyers Slump in Second, Lose to Tampa Bay


(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

The Philadelphia Flyers saw their four-game winning streak snapped after a second period slump doomed their effort tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

By Dan Heaning, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

With one game left before the NHL's All-Star Weekend break, the Philadelphia Flyers saw their four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-1 loss to the East-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay sunk the Philadelphia in the second period where they scored early and often. After seeing the Lightning's first power play killed off, Tyler Johnson found Brayden Point in the slot. The Tampa Bay center was able to shrug off Claude Giroux to get in close and slide the puck past Michal Neuvirth just 25 seconds into the period.

From there, the game snowballed in Tampa Bay's favor.

Yanni Gourde made it 2-0 about nine and a half minutes later as Matthew Peca slipped off Scott Laughton's coverage and drove to the net. Neuvirth stopped the Quinnipiac alum's opportunity, but Radko Gudas abandoned his man to cover the front of the net and got tangled on the side of the cage. This resulted in Gourde going untouched as he deposited the Neuvirth rebound for a two-goal Lightning advantage.

The play of the night sealed the game for Tampa Bay. Early on in the Flyers' second power play, Ryan Callahan tipped the puck past Jake Voracek and recovered it at the blueline. With Shayne Gostisbehere defending him, as Sean Couturier went to cover the second man on the rush, Callahan froze Gostisbehere then deked around the puck-moving defenseman and skated around the crease to beat Neuvirth on his left pad side.

Travis Konecny tallied for the Flyers on the team's fourth power play as he was set up by Voracek at the high slot for a shot that beat Vasilevskiy to end the shutout attempt. The goal does continue Konecny's career high point producing streak, which is now at five games.

However, less than a minute later, Vladislav Namestnikov put an end to any faint glimmer for a comeback when he scored off a feed from Nikita Kucherov. Namestnikov would score a second time just over three minutes later to turn the game into a laugher.

The Flyers had opportunities to take control of this game from the opening puck drop. Philadelphia outshot Tampa Bay 9-3 in the first period and had numerous scoring chances including a Travis Konecny breakaway and an in-close backhander from Giroux after an egregious turnover by Braydon Coburn which allowed Konecny to find Giroux in front.

However, Andrei Vasilevskiy closed the door in the opening frame which kept the Lightning in the game. Then the All-Star goaltender continued to stonewall the Flyers in the second and third period. On the night, Vasilevskiy made 36 saves in his shutout attempt.

Since the Flyers 10-game "winless" streak, Philadelphia has gone 16-6-1 which has effectively pushed the team into the playoff hunt.

The NHL will now enter its five-day All-Star Weekend break. The Philadelphia Flyers will return to game action on Wednesday, January 31 when they head to the nation's capital to take on Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The crucial divisional tilt will air on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. as a part of the network's "Wednesday Night Rivalry" block.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Lightning 0 3 2 5
Flyers 0 0 1 1

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • No scoring

2nd Period

  • TBL – Brayden Point (20, 00:25) from Tyler Johnson (22)
  • TBL – Yanni Gourde (17, 9:56) from Matthew Peca (1) and Dan Girardi (9)
  • TBL – Ryan Callahan (2, 17:26) unassisted (SHG)

3rd Period

  • PHI -  Travis Konecny (10, 13:18) from Jake Voracek (47) and Claude Giroux (43)
  • TBL – Vladislav Namestnikov (17, 14:05) from Nikita Kucherov (35) and Steven Stamkos (39)
  • TBL – Vladislav Namestnikov (18, 17:11) fromSteven Stamkos (40) and Nikita Kucherov (36) 

Game Statistics

  Flyers Lightning
Shots 37 22
Power Plays 1/4 0/1
Hits 23 16
Faceoff % 44% 56%
Giveaways 8 10
Takeaways 4 13
Blocked Shots 11 20
Penalty Minutes 12 8
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