Philadelphia played generally well against the second best team in the Eastern Conference tonight, but were unable to gain a point due to their lack of offense. Both the Lightning and the Flyers played a defensively sound game, neither taking too many risks on offense. This led to the low shooting and scoring game this evening.
The Flyers knew trying to win a third consecutive game tonight would be a daunting task, not only because of how good Tampa Bay has been this year but also due to the struggles they have faced against this team in the past. Philadelphia had lost five in a row and eight of their last nine against Tampa Bay.
They played a solid opening period against the Lightning coming away with a 1-0 lead; however, they faltered just enough early in the middle period and Tampa Bay took advantage collecting two goals in 4:44 minutes. The Lightning buckled down defensively after their pair of goals and never looked back.
Wayne Simmonds was the lone goal scorer for the Flyers. While on the PowerPlay with just 41 seconds remaining in the 1st period, Simmonds deflected Mark Streit's shot from the point past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made his NHL debut tonight. It was the sixth straight game in which the Flyers netted the game's first goal.
It took Steven Stamkos just 1:50 minutes into the 2nd to tie the game on a sniped shot over Steve Mason's shoulder. Less than five minutes later and just seconds after an expired PowerPlay, Tyler Johnson received a slap pass from Ryan Callahan scoring the eventual game winner.
"They came out with a lot more jump than we did to start the second period," Mason told reporters after the game. "And they got rewarded with two quick goals for it."
Tampa Bay held Philadelphia to just one shot in the final five minutes of the game and then ended it with an empty net goal from Valtteri Filppula.
"It was a tight checking game both ways," said coach Craig Berube. "We just didn't create enough offense tonight."
- Philadelphia honored Peter Forsberg tonight, who was recently inducted into the NHL hall of fame. Forsberg partook in the ceremonial dropping of the puck.
- The Flyers outshot the Lightning 24-23. The 47 shots total taken in this game was the second lowest total of the Flyers season.
- Philadelphia was a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. It was just the fourth time in their last 16 games that they didn't surrender a PowerPlay goal against.
- The Flyers were 1 for 3 on the man advantage. They have now scored a PowerPlay goal in eight straight games.
- Wayne Simmonds has scored a goal in three straight games and has six goals in his last six games.
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play their final home game of the calendar year on Thursday when they host the Florida Panthers.