By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
In the past several games for the Flyers, Carter Hart has been one of the primary reasons they have earned points and kept pace in the standings. Thursday's game certainly involved Hart being sharp throughout, but a late leaky goal allowed the Tampa Bay Lightning to be in position to escape with two points and leave the Flyers to consider points lost.
That was until Claude Giroux scored with 8.1 seconds left in the third to tie the game back up, forcing overtime and giving the Flyers a crucial and deserved point. Ultimately, the Lightning claimed the win in a shootout by a score of 4-3.
The Flyers got on the board right away. Just 1:34 into the game, Giroux got a breakaway after splitting the Lightning defense and made a smooth move on Andrei Vasilevskiy, tucking the shot home to make it 1-0 Flyers with his sixth goal of the season.
The Lightning got some sustained pressure in the minutes that followed Giroux's goal, opening up a 7-3 lead in shots.
At 10:21, the Flyers capitalized for another opportunistic goal. Travis Konecny blocked a pass and started the other way on a 3-on-1 rush. Konecny kept it himself, firing a shot past Vasilevskiy to make it 2-0. It was Konecny's fifth goal of the season and snapped a five-game goalless drought.
The Lightning again made a push as the period drew to a close. Through 20 minutes, shots were 13-5 Tampa Bay and the Lightning carried 1:15 of power-play time to the second.
The Flyers killed off the first penalty, but immediately took another seconds later. Tampa Bay finally was able to break through on that man-advantage opportunity.
Brayden Point took a pass from Steven Stamkos and was able to deposit a backhander to make it a 2-1 game at 1:51 of the period.
The Lightning continued to get pressure throughout the period. Following an icing, it resulted in another goal to tie the game. Alex Killorn threw a shot on goal that tipped the stick of Justin Braun and landed perfectly for Mathieu Joseph. He quickly reacted and beat Hart to make it a 2-2 game with 5:08 remaining in the period.
Just seconds later, the Flyers were back on the penalty kill, but successfully killed it off. With 12.1 seconds remaining in the period, the Flyers went to the man-advantage for the first time in the game and carried 1:48 of power-play time to the third.
Through two periods, shots were 26-14 Tampa Bay.
The Flyers were unable to score on the remaining power-play time to start the third and let another go by the wayside in the first five minutes of the period.
The Flyers continued to push the play throughout the period, out-shooting the Lightning, 12-3, in the third.
The Lightning actually had just one shot until the final two minutes of the period. Hart made a save on Hedman with 2:01 to play, leading into a media timeout. Out of the break, the Lightning were able to sneak a goal past him with 1:56 to play.
Off the face-off, Stamkos fired from an angle and beat Hart under his pad, giving the Lightning a 3-2 lead.
Just seconds later, Hart was on the bench and the push was on for the Flyers. With 10 seconds remaining, the Flyers had one more offensive-zone face-off with a chance to tie, and got it done as Giroux fired home his second of the game with 8.1 seconds to go, tying the game at three.
That forced a wild 3-on-3 overtime with multiple chances at both ends. Shots in the overtime were 4-3 Flyers, bringing the final total to 32-30 Tampa Bay.
In the shootout, the Lightning showed their skill with goals from Stamkos and Point, while Giroux and Sean Couturier were both stopped, giving the Lightning the win.
Hart finished with 29 saves in the loss. Vasilevskiy made 27 saves in the win.
In addition to Giroux's two goals, Derick Brassard had two assists for the Flyers. Stamkos, Hedman, and Killorn each finished with two points for Tampa Bay.
The Flyers are back on home ice again on Saturday to face the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m.