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Flyers vs. Lightning recap: A cruel reversal of fate

Two days after winning a game they probably shouldn’t have, the Flyers were kept off the scoreboard in a game they probably should have fared better in.

That kind of game.
Len Redkoles / Getty Images

The Flyers were shut out today, for what was the first time this NHL season. One game after playing some uninspiring defense and winning largely thanks to a significant goaltending advantage, the Flyers were undone by a goaltending advantage for the other team. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is really good, stopped all 32 shots he faced today on his way to victory.

It’s a frustrating outcome for the Flyers, who fall back to NHL-defined-.500 at 8-8-3 and missed out on a win in a game where the Lightning were not only missing their best player but had several other players miss various time during the game due to injury.

Still, there was some good to come from this one for the Flyers, the same way there were some concerns following their win over Winnipeg on Thursday. Against a Lightning team that is still very solid even without Steven Stamkos, the Flyers more than doubled up the Lightning in shot attempts on the day, by a count of 70-29 at all strengths and 46-22 at 5-on-5.

So where’d things go wrong? As mentioned, Vasilevskiy was the best player on the ice in this one, by no small margin. Not many saves that are going to end up on a highlight reel, but he was pretty much always in the right place at the right time. On the other side, Steve Mason wasn’t bad, per se, as all three goals would’ve been fairly tough saves, but on a day where the visitors didn’t generate much in terms of high-quality offense, you would like to see one or two more saves than he got, in any case.

Other culprits include an 0-for-5 performance from a power play unit that got progressively worse as the game went on, a Tampa team willing to put itself in the way of a lot of Flyers shots (the Bolts would block 21 Flyers attempts on the night), and, ultimately, three goals coming off the rush that would prove to be the difference in this one.

But against a tough opponent, this wasn’t a performance to get that down about, even acknowledging that the Flyers have been on their fair share of these kinds of games already this season. So it goes.

And hey — these two teams will play again on Wednesday in Tampa, and if we see a similar overall performance, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a win. So that’s exciting. But before that, they’ll play the Panthers in Sunrise on Tuesday. See you then. Below are your highlights for this one.

And, in case you need something heartwarming today, I guess: