Flyers

Flyers send Mikhail Vorobyev to Phantoms, call up Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne

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Flyers send Mikhail Vorobyev to Phantoms, call up Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne

One day after another lifeless loss, the Flyers have slightly shaken things up.

The Flyers on Sunday afternoon sent center Mikhail Vorobyev to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and recalled wingers Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Tyrell Goulbourne. Corban Knight was also placed on injured reserve.

Vorobyev's demotion should come as no surprise. He made the Flyers out of training camp but didn't do enough to stick around. He performed well in his first two games but then sat as a healthy scratch for four games. Saturday was his first game back in the lineup and he played just seven shifts. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol clearly didn't trust him (see story).

"We're down in a game and I'm looking for guys that are going to go out and try to help us get back into it and I wasn't confident that he was going to be able to do that," Hakstol said. "He's a young guy that has been out of the lineup.

"It can be hard to come in and be really sharp and make some of the plays that we need to have made. Yet, you can always bring energy, you can always bring intensity and you can always bring effort, and that's what's expected."

Aube-Kubel and Goulbourne will join the Flyers on their upcoming four-game road trip. Aube-Kubel's skill will be a welcomed addition to the Flyers' bottom six. The 2014 second-round pick has three goals and seven points in eight games this season with the Phantoms.

Goulbourne, 24, had a nine-game stint with the Flyers last season. It's clear why general manager Ron Hextall opted to bring him up — to bring energy. This Flyers team has played with no heart and Goulbourne will certainly help in that area.

Knight left the Flyers' 6-1 loss to the Islanders on Saturday in the first period with an upper-body injury. While the Flyers do not reveal injury information, Knight took a Ryan Pulock slap shot to his right hand in the first period.

Knight missed the beginning of the season because of an upper-body injury after making the roster in training camp and then played in three games before suffering his latest injury.

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Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

BOX SCORE

The Flyers didn't bring their A-game to a game they needed it.

There would be no giant killing Saturday as the Flyers lost to the Lightning, 5-3, at Amalie Arena.

Goals from Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux weren't enough for the Flyers (32-20-7), who are 6-3-2 against the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals, Penguins and Blues, the league's top five clubs.

Tampa Bay is the only one the Flyers haven't beaten. They'll get a final crack at the Lightning on March 12 in the same building.

The Lightning (39-15-5) have won 10 straight games.

• This really wasn't a bad loss for the Flyers.

They were at the end of a road trip and playing the NHL's hottest team. Tampa Bay is 22-2-1 over its last 25 games and hasn't lost at home since Dec. 19.

The Flyers entered Saturday with a 66.9 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com, and still hold an Eastern Conference wild-card spot (see standings).

Alain Vigneault's team just needs to recharge and be ready for a big home-and-home set against the Blue Jackets next week.

• Things got chippy in the second period. Travis Konecny was right in the middle of it all.

Steven Stamkos appeared to trip Giroux before a faceoff. Giroux didn't even look to be that mad about it.

During the final 6:09 of the middle frame, 22 penalty minutes were accrued.

• Brayden Point (10-game point streak) is good at hockey.

• Carter Hart, who was coming off his first road victory since Nov. 10, allowed four goals on 23 shots.

The 21-year-old wasn't the problem.

The first goal was a fluky one by Alex Killorn. On the second, Provorov was sloppy with the puck in the defensive zone and Tampa Bay capitalized to take a 2-0 lead into first intermission.

In the middle stanza, the Lightning beat Hart on a 3-on-2 to grab a commanding 3-0 advantage. Tampa Bay improved to 33-4-3 when it scores three or more goals.

Not only are the Lightning really good, but the Flyers also didn't play their typical forechecking, possession-based game until it was too late.

• Outside of the van Riemsdyk's third-period goal, Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy was strong with 30 saves, 15 of which came in the final stanza. 

Vasilevskiy improved to 18-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .940 save percentage over his last 19 starts.

• Provorov was far from his best against Tampa Bay but he did score the Flyers' first goal to trim the Lightning's lead to 3-1 in the second period. He also had an assist.

The 23-year-old has grown into a power play quarterback this season. He leads all NHL defensemen with seven man advantage goals after scoring only two over his first three NHL seasons.

• Travis Sanheim played 19:43 minutes Saturday after missing almost the entire third period of Thursday's 6-2 win over the Panthers because of a lower-body issue.

• The Flyers are off Sunday, practice at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey and host the Blue Jackets Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Saturday's game should be a good one.

The Flyers and Lightning are two of the hottest teams in the NHL. Since Jan. 8, the Flyers have the league's most goals (52) and only one team has more points (21) — the Lightning (27).

Tampa Bay is also on a nine-game winning streak and 21-2-1 over its last 24 games.

The big showdown comes a little earlier than usual. Puck drop will be shortly after 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with Flyers Pregame Live set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The matchup finishes off a three-game road trip for the Flyers, who then play four of their next five games at the Wells Fargo Center.

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