(Photo: Kate Frese)
By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
With 10:52 left in the third period, it turned into another one of those games for the Flyers on home ice. Total embarrassment.
Down 5-1 on home ice after allowing a third power-play goal, there was a lot of chanting, mainly directed at the head coach and GM. That's when the team on the ice suddenly turned the tide one goal at a time. In total, four goals in 6:04 brought the Flyers back from a four-goal deficit to ultimately force overtime.
In the overtime, the Flyers were not able to find a way though, falling on a goal by Anthony Cirelli at 1:47 in a wild 6-5 loss to the Lightning on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers came out strong in the first period, leading in shots after 20 minutes, 18-7, on the potent Tampa Bay offense.
Both teams had power play opportunities in the opening period, but strong kills by both sides prevented any dangerous scoring opportunities.
The Flyers had another power play chance early in the second and again failed to convert. After killing off the majority of another power play for the Lightning, the typical end result of the PK struck again.
Off a give-and-go with Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne fired a shot high over Cal Pickard to put the Lightning on the board at 6:02.
Six minutes later, it was the fourth line for Tampa at it again, as Erne set up Cedric Paquette at the side of the net and his quick release leaked through Pickard to make it 2-0.
The Flyers got a power play just over a minute later and needed to take advantage. To that point, the Flyers power play was 3 for the last 45, beyond a slump at this point.
Ultimately, they found a way, as Shayne Gostisbehere's point shot with a half open net was blocked but the loose puck remained in front of the net and James van Riemsdyk was able to put it past Louis Domingue to get the Flyers on the board. An assist for Claude Giroux on the goal was the 700th point of his career.
The 2-1 margin was short-lived though. Radko Gudas turned the puck over in the neutral zone joining the rush, and that allowed the Lightning to move back in transition. Brayden Point went to the net and outworked Ivan Provorov for positioning. Ryan Callahan found him for an easy tap-in goal, his 13th of the season, to make it 3-1.
After 40 minutes, the Flyers were outshooting the Lightning, 34-15, despite the 3-1 score.
Things didn't get better for the Flyers in the third. After going eight minutes without a shot on goal, Travis Konecny and Giroux took penalties 32 seconds apart to give Tampa 1:28 of 5-on-3 time. It took the Lightning just 21 seconds to make it a four-goal game.
Tyler Johnson scored on a one-timer to make it 4-1 at 8:57 and just 11 seconds later, Point scored his second to make it 5-1.
The Flyers worked their way back into the game with the help of two power-play goals. Konecny scored the first at 10:24 with a shot from the right circle to cut the lead to three and just 1:05 later, Sean Couturier scored unassisted to cut the lead to two.
With under five minutes to play, the Flyers frantically tried to find a rally and did. First, Konecny finished his second goal with a tip-in on a nice set-up by Giroux to make it a one-goal game with 4:02 to play. Just 30 seconds later, Wayne Simmonds put home a rebound to tie the game at five with four unanswered goals in 6:04.
That forced overtime, where the Flyers nearly got the game-winner twice, including on a tip-in by Jake Voracek that went just wide. Back the other way, the Lightning gained control and Anthony Cirelli played hero, lifting a shot over Pickard at 1:47 of the overtime to give Tampa the win.
The Flyers outshot the Lightning, 45-26, in the defeat. The Tampa power play was 3-for-4, the Flyers power-play was 3-for-5.
The Flyers hit the road now for their next game on Wednesday night, as they face the Buffalo Sabres. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.