The Philadelphia Flyers can no longer mathematically attain home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs due to their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night by a score of 4-2. The Flyers goals were scored by Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier.
The Flyers came out flat in the first period. They did not back up all of yesterdays talk about keeping their foot on the gas. In the first few minutes of the game the Flyers had turned the puck over several times and exactly two minutes into regulation the score was 1-0 Lightning. Steven Stamkos skated the puck in from the right wing and passed it across to Tyler Johnson who put it past Emery.
The Flyers did, however, pick up their pace throughout the period. By the time the first buzzer went off the Flyers were outshooting the Lightning 12-10 and had a majority of the scoring chances.
The second period was much better for the Flyers than the first. The first 10 minutes of the period were relatively boring with both teams closing down play in the neutral zone. However the Flyers began to buzz in the second half of the period and eventually drew a penalty. On the ensuing power play Wayne Simmonds tallied his 15th power play goal of the season. By the time the teams left for the second intermission, the Flyers were leading in shots 27-21.
The Flyers were unable to put the game away in the third period. The Lightning jumped out to a 3-1 lead by the half way point of the period. A Sean Couturier goal gave the Flyers a glimmer of hope, but Steve Stamkos answered less than two minutes later. The Flyers fell by a score of 4-2 while out shooting the Lightning 36-30.
-With his assist on the Simmonds goal, Claude Giroux now has 82 points. He will now finish the season as a point per game player.
-The Flyers can no longer have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. This could be a big issue, especially with the way Berube attempts to attain favorable match-ups.
-This game is another example of the Flyers being torn about by a speedy team. The Flyers have a lot of good qualities, but speed is not one of them.
-As much as I would like to say that having Gustafsson in the line up instead of Grossmann drastically changed the way the defense played, I did not notice a considerable difference.