The Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning have met for the third time this season, with an earlier start at 6:00 EST. The Lightning are the last team that the Flyers wish to see on their schedule. The Bolts outscored the Flyers 8-3 before this third meeting. The Flyers entered suffering through a seven game losing streak, with the Bolts starting the chain. Former goaltender Brian Elliott started in net, leading to much motivation for a Flyers revenge. For the Lightning, they entered this game with optimism. They had defeated the Boston Bruins the night before in overtime.
It was not at all surprising that the Lighting opened up the scoring. This began with Ryan McDonagh as he stole a rebound from Carter Hart. It did not take long until Tampa would strike again, as it took only sixty seconds before Corey Perry snuck one in from behind the net. The Flyers outshot the Lightning 14-9, however remained scoreless in the first. This was the only period of the game in which the Flyers appeared to keep up with Tampas fast pace.
Tampa played this period as expected, they tallied three goals against another zero for Philadelphia. Cam Atkinsson had passed through the neutral zone and Claude Giroux was unable to catch. This led Taylor Raddysh to a slap shot goal. It was a feed from Victor Hedman just below the blue line to make it 3-0. Boris Katchouk had added himself to the scoring log by getting his first in the NHL. He snuck one by, tucking it in near the crease, past Hart. Not even two minutes after, and Mathieu Joseph adds to the scoring. Hart had intended to pass to his player near the corner, hitting Joseph instead, and leaving an empty netter. Needless to say, this is one that Hart wishes he could have back. As such, it was at this time that Martin Jones took over goaltending duties.
Corey Perry. He remained an active player through this period and exploited the Flyers. He made a nice dangle around Scott Laughton and set up Patrick Maroon, who tapped one in against the team that drafted him. Facing a disgraceful 6-0 deficit, Atkinsoon gets a tip from a shot by Giroux leading to a Flyers goal on the power play. There was no celebration of the goal, but to get one off their dreaded 12.5% power play was refreshing. If there was one single ounce of positivity out of tonight, it is that they were able to capitalize on one of their opportunities. The scoring ended with, you guessed it, Corey Perry. He was not done as he was at the right place at the right time, getting hit with a shot by McDonagh past Jones.
The bolts handed the Flyers their third consecutive loss this season and have outscored them 14-4. The Flyers organization has promised fans a better team, and everyone is left disappointed. It is never easy to score more goals than the Lightning, but to lose three in a row is gut-wrenching for fans and players. The Flyers led 39-27 in shots as well as 21-12 in hits. However, their players were left stumped to score more than one. Hart has been solid this year and have been their only source of light on this team, except tonight. It is completely safe to say that this entire team was to blame tonight.
For Tampa Bay, as a team that has been criticized for lacking depth as compared to last year, the team has proven them wrong. Six different players had scored a goal. None of these six were Steven Stamkos, the scoring leader on the team. After watching this game, all hockey fans should be aware of this team as more of a threat to winning their third championship. This was a feel-good win for Brian Elliott, and he looks like he can be trusted as a decent backup moving forward.
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