Lightning 7, Flyers 6: Flyers fall to the Lightning in a shootout

Updated: March 3, 2018 at 5:39 pm by John Gove

The Philadelphia Flyers traveled into Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning Saturday afternoon looking to get back on track after a less than stellar performance Thursday against the Hurricanes.

First Period

After an uneventful six and a half minutes to start the contest, the Flyers went on the first power play of the game thanks to a tripping penalty by Andrei Vasilevskiy. Philadelphia took advantage as Nolan Patrick jammed the puck in the net for his tenth goal of the season.

Unfortunately, the Flyers lead would not last very long. The Lightning went on a power play opportunity and Steven Stamkos scored his 26th goal of the season to tie the game back up 8:16 into the opening period.

Jakub Voracek would eventually give the Flyers back the lead, scoring his 14th of the season. Patrick was credited with the lone assist on the goal.

Robert Hagg then increased Philadelphia’s lead to 3-1 with his third goal of the season. That would be the score as the final horn sounded of the period. The Flyers took advantage of Vasilevskiy not being on his A-game and walked into the locker room with full control of the game after 20 minutes.

Second Period

The Lightning just so happen to be the best second-period team in the National Hockey League. Unfortunately for the Flyers, that became apparent early on in the middle period. Bolts defenseman, Victor Hedman, cut Philadelphia’s lead in half, scoring his tenth goal of the season 5:57 into period number two.

Tampa Bay would eventually tie the game up with a goal from Dan Girardi, his first goal against the Flyers in his career. With the game knotted up at three, Philadelphia lost all momentum that was gained in the first period.

Then, the Bolts felt the wrath of Jori Lehtera (yes, that is sarcasm). The winger gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead 16:15 into the period with his second of the season. When asked later about his goal, Lehtera said “I just closed my eyes and shot it. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Philadelphia would luckily enter the second intermission with the lead after being outplayed for most of the period.

Third Period

Once the third and final period began, the Flyers wasted no time in extending their lead against the top team in the league. Ivan Provorov recorded his 12th goal of the season to give the orange and black a two-goal lead just over a minute into the third.

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The two-goal lead would not last long, however, as J.T. Miller scored his first goal with the Lightning and 14th of the year. Yanni Gourde and Brayden Point would be credited with the assists. Just over three minutes later, Nikita Kucherov and Stamkos took advantage of a 2-on-1 as Stamkos scored his second of the game, tying the game up at five goals apiece.

Unfortunately, the bleeding for the Flyers would not stop there. Hedman would give the Lightning their first lead of the game with his second goal of the game. With Tampa Bay completing the comeback, all of the momentum and energyย would be on their side.

When all seemed lost for Philadelphia, the captain came to the rescue. Claude Giroux continued his amazing play this season, scoring his 23rd of the season 17:07 into the period to tie the game back up. The final horn of regulation would sound without a winner, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime/Shootout

The overtime period was full of action but no goals. The Flyers had plenty of opportunities, including a power play, but could not take advantage. In round two of the shootout, Point would put the Bolts ahead and Vasilevskiy would keep them ahead preventing Nolan Patrick from scoring. Stamkos would then seal the deal with another shootout goal, giving Tampa Bay the 7-6 victory.

Final Thoughts

It is never a good feeling when you cough up a two-goal lead in the final period of play. However, the Flyers were still able to obtain a much-needed point to stay in the battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Philadelphia will receive very little rest as they continue their Florida road trip tomorrow afternoon against the Florida Panthers.

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