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5 Observations: Flyers Had No Spark in Loss to Lightning

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Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny tries to get a shot past Tampa's Andrei Vasilevskiy on Thursday. Tampa rolled to a 4-1 win. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t do much Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center.

In one of their most lackluster performances of the season, the Flyers were dominated, 4-1.

Philly’s power play was bad, the penalty kill was no better. This game showed that getting injured players back isn’t always going to get you wins. The Flyers have to play like a team — and they didn’t do that Thursday. They were chasing the play most of the game.

“We could never change the momentum when they hemmed us in that one shift (in the second period). We just didn’t have the ability to change the momentum back our way,” said Flyers head coach John Tortorella, whose team ended a 10-game losing streak in its previous game..

Here are my five observations:

1. Nick Paul dominated down low.

Paul made it 1-0 with a power-play goal at 16:02 of the first period. The Flyers were in a box and left him room to shoot. Paul scored his second goal, his 11th of the season, at 7:55 of the second period to make it 2-0.

Steven Stamkos got one of the assists, and that was the 1,000th point of his brilliant career. It was another shot down low, and the Flyers couldn’t keep him out of the crease.

2. Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo were back in action.

Konecny was skating very well in the offensive zone. Neither had a tremendous impact in this game, but Konecny did help create some more jump. He eventually was rewarded when Travis Sanheim gave him a nice cross-ice pass and Konecny banged it home to make it a 4-1 game at 11:23 of the third period.

It was his eighth goal of the season, and DeAngelo got an assist.

“That last goal in the second period. That starts with me. That’s me trying to do too much,” said Konecny. “It’s behind us now. Just look forward.”

3. The Flyers are back to taking too many penalties.

The Philadelphia Flyers took the first three penalties of the game, putting the Lightning on the power play, where they are extremely dangerous. The Flyers were sometimes lacking energy, which could be because they had to recover from killing penalties.

4. Carter Hart kept them in the game for a little while.

Hart stopped a breakaway from Brandon Hagel late in the second period to keep the game at 2-0. It was an important stop. But, with 3.4 seconds to go in the period, New Jersey native Ross Colton put in the third goal off a rebound. Hart was overloaded, and Tampa was firmly behind the Flyers’ defense.

In the third period, Hart did let up a goal that bounced off the back wall and went into the side of the net to give Tampa a 4-0 lead. He stopped 23 of 27 shots.

There were lots of boos when the horn sounded to end the game.

5. The Flyers lost the puck-possession battle.

The Lightning started out the second period looking like they were on the power play. They had a master class in puck possession, and the Flyers couldn’t keep up. After two periods, the Flyers were being outshot 24-11 — including 17-2 in the middle stanza. They played large stretches of the first two periods in their own end. If the Flyers are going to become a better team, this has to change.

Breakaways

The Flyers had only two offensive zone faceoffs in the first period. … Andre Vasilevskiy made a nice stop on a one-on-one break from Owen Tippett. The Tampa goalie made the save look easy. … Chants of “Fire Fletcher” broke out in the third period…The Flyers’ power play was disjointed and was 0-3. … Nick Deslauriers had seven hits, and Ivan Provorov blocked four shots.

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