Poor First Period Plagues Flyers In Loss vs Lightning


The Philadelphia Flyers finished out their three-game road trip by taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Coming off of a 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers in their previous contest, the Philadelphia Flyers set their sights on defeating another Atlantic Division squad as they played against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena. The Flyers were hoping to avenge a shutout 1-0 loss to Tampa the last time both sides met this year and tie the season series up at one. Carter Hart received the start from Head Coach Alain Vigneault and opposed Andrei Vasilevskiy in the other crease.

The Bolts outperformed the Flyers through a large portion of the period, and it showed on the scoreboard in the form of a 2-0 lead through the opening 20 minutes. Luck appeared the be on Tampa Bay’s side if their first goal was any indicator, as Alex Killorn snuck a shot by Hart from a sharp angle after having his initial one blocked by Ivan Provorov. The Lightning winger used that to his advantage, though, catching Hart slightly out of position while taking the shot as the young goaltender lost sight of the biscuit. Cedric Paquette‘s follow-up tally was all skill from the Bolts on both sides, taking advantage of a turnover from Provorov to allow Tyler Johnson to set up Paquette all-alone in front of the net.

Carter Verhaeghe added to the Lightning lead in the early stages of the second, scoring less than four minutes into the frame to dig Philadelphia in a deep 3-0 hole. Victor Hedman took full advantage of a 3-on-2 rush, forcing Robert Hagg to drop down with a shot-fake and eventually find Verhaeghe with a skilled cross-ice saucer for the forward’s eighth goal of 2019-20. Provorov would put the Flyers back within two, later on, netting his team-leading seventh power-play goal to make it 3-1 going into the third.

After Brayden Point made it a 4-1 affair with around eight minutes to go in the stanza, Philly stormed back to cut their deficit to one as James van Riemsdyk, and Claude Giroux scored within a minute of each other. Unfortunately, the late comeback bid fell short, and Tampa walked away with a 5-3 win in regulation thanks to an empty netter from Nikita. Kucherov. This game could’ve gone differently had the Fly Guys put on a better first-period performance but alas, good starts seem to be difficult for this club at times. Vasilevskiy was also stellar for Tampa, making 30 saves on 33 shots.

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The Flyers are now 32-20-7 on the year. Next game is Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.