The game has been dangerous for the Flyers this season: good news, bad news. Most of the time, all the news has been on the injury front, but on Tuesday night they got two players healthy, but lost 5-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning despite outplaying them for most of the contest. Danny Briere returned from a hand injury and Brayden Schenn returned from a concussion, but neither made a difference.
For the first time all season, the Flyers were given back-to-back road losses, but they probably didn’t deserve it. In the first period, they outshot the Lightning 17-4, but were tied at one on the scoreboard. Bruno Gervais scored on a shot that seemed to bounce off a maze of objects, last hitting Schenn before going behind Ilya Bryzgalov. Claude Giroux had an answer, though. Giroux intentionally shot the puck to the corner and got to it first, passed it to Scott Hartnell who had a lot of net to shoot at and buried it.
In the second period, though, the wheels came off and the Flyers were battling not only funny bounces, but percentages too. The Lightning scored three goals on only eight shots. But it wasn’t all bad luck, the Flyers dug their own grave by leaving Steven Stamkos alone by himself.
First Stamkos cashed in on a rebound from a Brett Clark shot that hit Bryzgalov in the left leg. There were no defensemen there to clear the porch. Then former Flyer Steve Downie scored after a slap-pass from a defenseman hit off his teammate’s skate, off the back boards and gave him an empty net to work with.
Stamkos then tied Marian Gaborik for the league lead in goals with 22 when he tallied on a power play. Downie fed him at the left post where he was unattended and had the whole net to shoot at.
The Flyers went back to dominating in shots in the third, but at that point their fate was cemented. They were unable to solve Mathieu Garon in the final stanza despite numerous opportunities. The Lightning weren’t shy about sitting on the lead. They iced the puck 11 times in the game, seven in the third period and Vincent Lecavalier put even more icing on the cake with a goal in the final minute. It was the fifth goal on 16 shots for Tampa.
Aside from the returning players, there wasn’t much good news stemming from the Tampa game. So what’s the next piece of good news? The Flyers are one of three teams in the NHL that haven’t lost three straight on the road. Next up, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.