Teddy Purcell scores the first of four second period goalsfor the Lightning in their 6-3 win over the Flyers
The Flyers' 10 game win-streak was snapped Saturday as the Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of a number of Philadelphia miscues and a rare off-performance by goalie Steve Mason to win 6-3.
Tampa Bay got on the board first when Alex Killorn intercepted a bad pass by Nicklas Grossman and fired a shot that hit off the stick of Mark Streit, sending the puck past Mason to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead four and a half minutes into the game.
The Flyers played poorly in the first half of the first period, failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities on Tampa goalie Anders Lindback, who came into the game struggling in losing two of three filling in for injured starter Ben Bishop.
From that point on, though, the Flyers picked up their game considerably, putting pressure on Lindback and the Tampa Bay defense and outshooting the Lightning 15 to 7.
A strange moment occured with six minutes left in the period, when Jakub Voracek made a shot that hit the crossbar of the goal and bounced out, and the referees called the play dead almost immediately. It was an odd moment that definitely affected the momentum of the 2-man advantage Power Play, and the Lightning managed to hold the Flyers off despite a flurry of shots.
Sean Couturier drew a hooking penalty a minute into the second period, but the Flyers, led by Michael Raffl, did a good job in disrupting the Lightning power play.
Teddy Purcell took advantage of some poor defensive coverage and shot the puck past Mason to push the lead to 2-0. It wasn't one of Mason's best looking plays this year, but it looked like Andrej Meszaros might have also been screening him on the play.
The Flyers, though, continued to press and, after breaking his stick and returning with a new one, Voracek found the net on a breakaway that cut the deficit to 2-1. Ryan Malone, however, took advantage on a 2-on-1 with a wristshot past Mason, giving the Lightning a 2-goal lead again less than a minute after the Voracek goal.
The Flyers got a power play opportunity with about nine minutes left in the second period after Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell served penalties for roughing Brayden Coburn, who also recieved a two minute penalty. Soon after, Wayne Simmonds took a short pass from Claude Giroux and slipped it in for his 15th goal of the season, and 10th in his last 12 games, to make it 3-2 Tampa Bay.
A few minutes later, Voracek again made a great play, weaving his way between two Lightning defenders to score on a beautiful shot past Lindback to tie the score at 3, but as seemed to be the Flyers' luck today, the Lightning answered back just over a minute later. Valttieri Flippula took the shot that gave the Lightning a 4-3 lead 15:41 into the second.
The Flyers continued to move up the ice and pressure Lindback, but none of the shots taken found the net. Lightning Captain Martin St. Louis scored with less than a minute left to give Tampa a 5-3 lead that they would carry into the third period.
Mason was benched to start the third period in favor of Ray Emery. Emery was solid in stopping all seven shots he faced in the period, but Tampa Bay managed to stop the Flyers every time they got close to the net, with Lindback making a number of close saves.
At the 12:39 remaining mark, the Flyers made a strong rush towards the Tampa Bay net. Meszaros led the charge that saw at least three different attempts to push the puck in after a pileup in front of the net, but couldn't get it in, and that was the last serious push by the Flyers all game.
With 1:48 left, Malone added an empty net goal, and the game ended with the score 6-3.
The Flyers gave a lot of hustle, but didnt have a lot of luck on bounces around the net. They outshot the Lightning 38-25, but it was their poor defensive play that doomed them, particularly in the 4-goal second period. Defenseman Steve Downie in particular seemed to be struggling more than others, and was replaced by recently-called-up Tye McGinn on the third line. McGinn had a decent game despite the -1 rating, and made a shot on a breakaway against Lindback that just missed, going high and hitting the crossbar.
Scott Hartnell took a penalty with 4:51 remaining for an illegal check to the head of Tampa's Victor Hedman. Hedman was skating with his head down, which caused fans to boo loudly in annoyance at the call. Hartnell did lead into the shot with his shoulder and hit Hedman head-first.
The Flyers extended their streak of consecutive opponent power plays killed to 22 spanning their last 7 games. St. Louis' goal in the third gave him 58 points in 45 career games versus Philadelphia. Lindback, who had only saved 49 of his last 59 shots in three games prior, made 35 saves Saturday, and is now 4-1 versus the Flyers since joining the Lightning.
The Flyers(23-18-4) travel to New York tomorrow to face the Rangers(23-20-3) at 7pm.