Philadelphia Flyers Struck by Lightning, Lose 6-3

The Philadelphia Flyers’ home win streak was snapped at 10 games today, as the Tampa Bay Lightning doubled up the Flyers, 6-3, in a lopsided loss. Sloppy play and missed opportunities early on cost the Flyers multiple chances of staying in this game.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lightning @ Flyers (1/11/2014)

Not even five minutes into the first period, a bad pass by Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann in his own zone led to an Alex Killorn goal that gave the Lightning an early 1-0 lead. The Flyers also couldn’t capitalize on a two-man advantage power play midway through the first period.

Both teams exploded in the second period to combine for seven goals, but Tampa Bay still went into the intermission leading 5-3. They then tacked on an empty netter in the closing moments of the third period to finish out the game.

The Flyers did have a few scoring chances that could have turned the game around, but luck was not on their side. Two shots hit the post, as Lightning goalie Anders Lindback could only look around in confusion not knowing where the puck was. A Lightning defenseman also knocked the puck away just as it was about to cross the goal line.

Still, careless decisions by the team and uncharacteristic poor goaltending by Steve Mason cost the team this game. Mason allowed five goals, including two soft ones. He was later pulled for backup Ray Emery to start the third period.

Mason hadn’t given up five goals in a game since joining the Flyers last April.

“I gotta find ways to make saves, and tonight I didn’t make any saves,” Mason said.

There were a few bright spots for the Flyers to be encouraged by:

1) Captain Claude Giroux collected two more assists as his season continues to improve.

2) Winger Wayne Simmonds scored another goal (his 15th of the season) after crashing the net on a second chance opportunity.

3) Winger Jakub Voracek scored two goals in the second period (his 11th and 12th of the season) and was given the third star of the game honors.

“Offensively, we were clicking; we just got to get that defensive game back,” Simmonds said of the second period outburst.

Voracek realized how some poor decisions hurt the team.

“We made a couple mistakes. They scored from them. In the first period, if we scored two or three goals, it might have been a little different,” he said. “But Lindback played solid today, and we lost so we have to regroup and get ready for tomorrow.”

After a miserable start to their season, the Flyers have still won seven of their last nine games and have climbed up in the Metropolitan division.  They currently sit in 3rd place and are a half game behind Washington for 2nd in the division.  That’s quite a climb after sitting in dead last not too long ago.

The Flyers hadn’t lost a home game since Nov. 7, when they lost to the New Jersey Devils. They will look to bounce back tomorrow night as they head to New York to take on the Rangers.

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