PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 26: J.T. Wyman #34 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his game winning goal at 17:11 of the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 26, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lightning defeated the Flyers 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Slow start: Yet again, the Flyers didn't come out with the needed intensity in the first period. The Lightning were able to use their trap effectively, and the Flyers got away from their game plan before the game had really even begun. Tampa Bay dictated the play and for the Flyers, that's just unacceptable when you're a) on home ice and b) the superior team.
Turnovers: Arguably the two biggest goals in the game -- Ryan Malone's opening tally and JT Wyman's eventual game-winner in the third period -- were the product of two absolutely horrible turnovers. Malone scored on a shorthanded breakaway after Danny Briere tried getting too fancy in the neutral zone, and Matt Carle had one of the worst giveaways of the season near the Flyers' net late in the third.
It's worth noting that Ilya Bryzgalov was asleep at the wheel on the Carle giveaway as well, but that doesn't excuse the defenseman one bit. Both were horrible giveaways and combined they cost the Flyers a chance at two points tonight.
Dwayne Roloson: The Lightning goaltender is 42-years-old. He's the only NHL player currently active who was born in the 1960s. He didn't look like it one bit tonight. In the second period as the Flyers absolutely poured the pressure on the Tampa Bay goal, Roloson made several key saves and kept his team in the game. Without him, this game would have been over in the Flyers' favor long before the second intermission -- slow start and awful turnovers be damned.
And now for SCARY NEWS: Reporters noticed Bryzgalov limping in the locker room after the game. Matt Brigidi from The Checking Line noticed in warmups that Bryz was favoring his knee. If that's the cause, things can't be too bad since he played the entire game.
But in any event, this is exactly what we feared in today's game preview when talking about getting Sergei Bobrovsky some starts down the stretch. Hindsight is 20/20 and all, but ... well, in this case, foresight was pretty damn clear too. Let's hope it's nothing serious for Bryz and that Bob gets some starts here. The playoffs are six games away.
Questions with Answers
- Can the Flyers shut down Steven Stamkos? No. Nobody can. He is Ivan Drago minus Russia.
- Catching Evgeni Malkin in the Art Ross Trophy race seems difficult, but can Claude Giroux make progress tonight? Can he pass Stamkos for second-place (he's one point behind him entering the evening)? Zero points for Giroux.
- Saturday was the first time in eight outings that the Flyers scored four or more goals in a game. Tampa gives up 3.36 per game onaverage. Can the Flyers score four or more tonight as well? They cannot. Close, probably should have, but nope.
- Old friend Sebastien Caron is on the bench for the Lightning tonight. Will the Flyers give him a video tribute, much like they did for similar 2010 heroes Mike Richards and Simon Gagne? An utterly disgusting lack of respect for one of the great all-time members of this organization.
Comment of the Night
Paint watches Tampa dry.