Flyers struck by Lightning in wild game


TAMPA, Fla. — Claude Giroux came up with the equalizer with 2:53 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime, but the Flyers came up empty in the shootout in a wild 7-6 loss Saturday afternoon to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

The Flyers, however, guaranteed themselves a point and put themselves in a tie with the Washington Capitals for the lead in the Metropolitan Division for at least a couple of hours.

Ivan Provorov (goal, two assists), Nolan Patrick (goal, assist), Jakub Voracek (goal, assist), Robert Hagg (goal), Jori Lethera (goal) and Valtteri Filppula (two assists) were the main producers on offense.

Petr Mrazek fell to 1-8-2 in regular-season games against the Lightning. Steven Stamkos had a career-high five points (two goals, three assists) as the Lightning scored three consecutive goals in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and take a 6-5 lead before Giroux tied things up.

And now for some observations:

• Patrick is picking up his game at the right time and he had a dominating first period, scoring on a power-play goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead and forcing a turnover on Voracek's goal to make the score 2-1. Patrick had a chance at a second goal midway through the third period but was robbed by Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

• The Flyers' ninth-ranked power play did its job with the first-period goal but could not capitalize in the overtime when Nikita Kucherov was sent to the box for hooking. Shayne Gostisbehere had a great look but Vasilevskiy made the save.

• Meanwhile, the Flyers' bottom-feeding penalty kill lasted all of seven seconds before giving up Stamkos' first goal. Luckily, it was the only time the Flyers were shorthanded all game.

• Mrazek fell to 3-1-1 in his fifth start with the Flyers and will certainly reflect on a couple of stops he'd like to have back, including a shot from Victor Hedman (two goals, two assists) at the goal line that he mishandled.

• The Flyers will finish their final regular-season swing through the Sunshine State with a Sunday afternoon game against the Florida Panthers (3 p.m./NBCSP) before returning home Wednesday to host the Pittsburgh Penguins.