Today’s game was a bit of a roller coaster. A strong start with nothing to show for it, followed by the ultimate depth of despair, which was then followed by disbelief and jubilation. Then overtime happened.
Truth be told, not much to speak of here, folks. The Flyers were doing all the right things, getting to the danger areas (particularly the Couturier line) and controlling play. Unfortunately, they couldn’t put one up on the scoreboard. The game would be tied at zero going into the middle frame.
The Lightning have been a strong second-period team all year and they remained true to form in this one. After the Flyers squandered an early power play opportunity, Tampa Bay got a chance of their own and did not miss. Adam Erne and Yanne Gourde worked a nice give-and-go that ended in a snipe by Erne at 6:02 of the period to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. Erne would help set up the second goal of the period as well, when he fed Cedric Pacquette 6 minutes later to make it 2-0 Bolts.
The lone bright spot in the period for the Flyers came on the power play (no, really!) as JVR found a loose puck in the crease and jammed it past Domingue to bring the Flyers to within a goal. The goal was JVR’s first of the season and it ended a 3-for-45 slump on the power play for the orange and black.
Nearly three minutes later, the good feelings were over as Brayden Point shrugged off Ivan Provorov at the net front and one-timed a puck past Pickard to make it 3-1. Tampa Bay would carry that lead into the third period.
All hell broke loose in the final frame. Frustration started to settle in for the Flyers as Travis Konecny took an interference penalty on Victor Hedman, which was quickly followed by a very weak slashing call on Claude Giroux. Tampa Bay would take advantage of the 5-on-3 and ensuing 5-on-4 on quick strikes from Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point, giving the Lightning a commanding 5-1 lead.
Just as things seemed all doom and gloom, the Flyers were awoken after Oskar Lindblom took a punch to the face. A scrum ensued and ultimately lead to a Flyers power play opportunity. With Voracek in the box for taking part in the scrum, Travis Konecny took his place on the power play and sniped a wrist shot past Domingue at 10:24 of the period to breathe some life into the Flyers. Soon after, the Flyers would get another power play goal from Sean Couturier, as a lucky bounce found the stick of the bearded beauty right in front for a quick snap shot.
Just over four minutes later, Konecny would strike again. Couturier fired a cross-ice pass to Giroux after stealing the puck in the neutral zone, who put a beautiful saucer pass on the tape to Konecny to bring the Flyers to within a goal. Wayne Simmonds would then complete the improbable comeback 30 seconds later while lying down on the ice on his 3rd rebound attempt. Four unanswered goals in a span of six minutes would send this game to overtime.
Unfortunately, this game would end much like it started. The Flyers had three prime scoring opportunities to end it but just couldn’t find the twine. Giroux would misfire on a shot and send the Lightning the other way. Anthony Cirelli would then shake off Simmonds from behind the net, get his way to the slot, and wire a shot past Pickard 1:47 into OT to grab the win for Tampa Bay.
- Claude Giroux recorded his 700th career point with a secondary assist on JVR’s power play goal in the second period.
- Oskar Lindblom didn’t appear to take many shifts after getting punched in the face; not sure if he was pulled due to injury or precautionary reasons.
- The power play finished strong after a slow start to the game; hopefully this gets them going moving forward .