The Philadelphia Flyers rescued a point against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning before falling via shootout, 4-3 (2-0), at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday evening.
Claude Giroux (6th goal of the season) and Travis Konecny (5th) gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead in the first period. Goals by Brayden Point (power play, 7th) and Mathieu Joseph (3rd) evened the score at 2-2 in the second period. Late in the third period, a severe angle goal by Steven Stamkos (9th) was canceled out by Giroux's second goal of the game (7th) in the final nine ticks of regulation. Neither team was able to score in a fast-and-furious shootout.
Carter Hart made one mistake late in the game but finished with 29 saves on 32 shots. Andrei Vasilevskiy denied 27 of 30 Flyers shots. In the shootout:
Round 1: Sean Couturier shot first. He shot a wrister into the pads. Stamkos scored over Hart's right shoulder for a 1-0 Tampa lead.
Round 2: Giroux was stopped on a backhander. Point beat Hart with a snap shot to end the game.
The Flyers went 0-for-2 on the power play. Tampa went 1-for-3.
Kevin Hayes was unable to play in this game. Max Willman joined the NHL team on an emergency recall from the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Tampa's second shot of the period looked harmless: a flat angle shot from Stamkos along the boards but it leaked in through Hart at 18:04. The Flyers pulled Hart for a desperation 6-on-5 push. With 10 seconds remaining, Derick Brassard cleanly won a left circle faceoff in Tampa's zone back to Giroux and the Flyers' captain wristed it through bodies and past Vasilevskiy to rescue the seemingly lost point.
1) The Flyers were outshot, 13-5, in the first period and Tampa had a decided Corsi edge (70.59 percent to 29.41 percent). However, the Flyers carried a lead almost from the get-go and Tampa only had a couple high-danger chances. Hart was sharp in net. Ultimately, what mattered was the two goals in the cash register for Philly to zero for Tampa.
2) Scott Laughton had a good chance in the opening minute and the Flyers had the game's first two shots. At 1:34, team captain Giroux scored a beautiful goal off the rush, splitting the defense, turning goaltender Vasilevskiy inside out and depositing the puck in the net. The assists went to Derick Brassard and Cam Atkinson.
Tampa had a 7-3 shot edge through 9:08 of the opening period but the Flyers struck again at 10:21. Konecny and Lindblom had a 2-on-1. Lindblom took the D (Mikhail Sergachev) to the net with him and TK scored from the bottom of the right circle to make it a 2-0 game.
Said Konecny after the period, "I was definitely looking for Osky there the whole way for a number of reasons. It just got to the point that he continued to stay on Oskar and he gave me a shot. It wasn't necessarily open, I just tried to put it on net."
With Hayes unavailable for the game, the Flyers juggled their forward lines:
86 Joel Farabee - 14 Sean Couturier - 25 James van Riemsdyk
28 Claude Giroux - 19 Derick Brassard - 89 Cam Atkinson
23 Oskar Lindblom - 21 Scott Laughton - 11 Travis Konecny
71 Max Willman - 44 Nate Thompson - 17 Zack MacEwen
9 Ivan Provorov - 61 Justin Braun
6 Travis Sanheim - 70 Rasmus Ristolainen
3 Keith Yandle - 24 Nick Seeler
3) Tampa took a carryover power play into the second period. The Flyers survived that PK but weren't able to nurse another 4-on-5 through to expiration. At 1:51, a shot from Point looped into the net. The assists went to Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.at 1:51.
4) Tampa continued to bring pressure on the Flyers, and also got to the inside more often than in the first period. Hart robbed Ross Colton at 10:43 with a full extension save. The Flyers also had several counter chances off Tampa turnovers but couldn't capitalize. Overall, though, Tampa spent far more time attacking than defending. At 14:52, the Lightning tied the score at 2-2. It started with a faceoff win in the Flyers zone then a shot that went off Justin Braun to Joseph. The Tampa player stuffed it home ahead of Hart from the doorstep. The assists went to Alex Killorn and Zach Bogosian. Through two periods, the Lightning had two-thirds of the game's shot attempts and a wide lead in overall scoring chances. Shots on goal were 13-9 in the middle frame.
5) The Flyers finally got their first power play at the final 12 seconds of the middle frame. They took 1:48 of carryover 5-on-4 time into the third period. A set play off the opening faceoff nearly worked as Konecny charged in and took a long bank pass but was denied by a good save from Vasilevskiy. The Flyers generated good puck movement over the remaining course of the man-advantage but were unable to score. The Flyers were also unable to cash in a subsequent delay of game penalty on Patrick Maroon.
The Flyers held a 5-0 lead in shots through the first 10 minutes of the period. Provorov then was denied from the left side as shot on a 2-on-1. With 8:49 left, Tampa iced the puck. When Tampa finally got it first shot (off a Flyers turnover), Hart denied a Colton backhander at the net. With 4:44 left and shots 8-1 in their favor, the Flyers iced the puck. The Flyers worked their way out of the zone. With 2:01 remaining, Hart tracked a point shot and saved it cleanly. But then Stamkos scored on the third Tampa shot of the period. Shots in the period were 12-3 with the final Flyers shot (Giroux's tying the game to force OT).