Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Flyers try to regroup Friday vs. first-place Rangers

TAMPA, Fla. - Surrendering seven power-play attempts on the second night of back-to-back games is not a formula for success, the Flyers demonstrated Wednesday night.

TAMPA, Fla. - Surrendering seven power-play attempts on the second night of back-to-back games is not a formula for success, the Flyers demonstrated Wednesday night.

Late breakdowns from a tired defense crippled the Flyers in a 4-2 loss to the Lightning, preventing them from sweeping Florida road games for the first time since 2011.

Alex Killorn and Ryan Callahan scored 12 seconds apart late in the third period, enabling Tampa Bay to erase a 2-1 deficit en route to the win at Amalie Arena.

The Flyers (9-9-3) will try to rebound at 1 p.m. Friday against the Metropolitan-leading New York Rangers (14-6-1) in a matchup at the Wells Fargo Center.

Despite a 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the Rangers have a plus-29 goal differential. The Flyers are minus-5.

On Wednesday, the Flyers killed six of seven penalties, including three in the first half of the final period. They were coming off a 3-1 win in Florida the previous night, and they looked like a drained team in the last seven minutes against the Lightning.

"Too many penalties overall," said goalie Steve Mason, who was brilliant throughout most of the game. "It disrupts the flow of the game and taxes the guys that are constantly on the penalty kill."

"We have to play with more discipline," Nick Cousins said after taking the injured Sean Couturier's spot as the second-line center.

The late Tampa barrage overshadowed a memorable night for Ivan Provorov, the Flyers' coming-of-age defenseman who scored his first NHL goal and added an assist.

"It was a long time coming," Provorov, 19, said of his first goal in 21 games.

Provorov played 20 minutes, 31 seconds, including nearly seven minutes on the penalty kill. In addition to his two points, he had three hits and four blocked shots - one with his right knee in the third period, temporarily sending him off the ice.

"It's disappointing," he said of losing the late 2-1 lead, built on a dominating second period in which the Flyers fired 22 shots. "We battled so hard and had so many penalty kills. The boys put their bodies on the line."

Killorn tied it at 2-2 with 6:32 left, knocking in a rebound that caromed off the backboards. "A bad bounce that they capitalized on," Mason said.

Twelve seconds later, after Provorov failed to clear the puck in front of his net, Callahan tapped in a pass from Brayden Point.

"When you're killing, killing, killing, it's hard to get the engine going again," Tampa coach Jon Cooper said of the Flyers' marches to the penalty box, "and we took advantage of that."

It was Tampa's second win over the Flyers in five nights. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 stops in the Lightning's 3-0 victory at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Vasilevskiy had 29 stops Wednesday, including two Scott Laughton attempts from in close. Laughton, recalled from the AHL's Phantoms earlier in the day, played well in 8:31 while centering the fourth line, Cousins' old spot.

"I'm just excited to get the opportunity and prove I can play in this league," said Laughton, the Flyers' first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2012 draft.


Claude Giroux is goal-less in his last six games, and his line struggled Wednesday. "We have to find a way to generate offense," Giroux said, "We definitely need to look at some video and see what we need to do differently." . . . The Flyers had a season-low two shots in the first period and a season-high 22 shots in the second. . . . Mason is expected to face the Rangers, and Anthony Stolarz will likely make his NHL debut Sunday night against visiting Calgary, which is without injured star Johnny Gaudreau of Gloucester Catholic. . . . Dale Weise had a goal for the second straight night; he was goalless in his first 15 games with the Flyers.