TAMPA - With Chris Pronger back in the lineup after a six-game absence, the Flyers' defense was much improved Wednesday night.

Problem was, the offense took a step backward against the trap-happy Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Flyers, coming off a nine-goal eruption against Columbus, dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum. Brett Connolly scored on a rebound 2 minutes, 30 seconds into overtime to give the Lightning the win.

In regulation, the Flyers were outshot, 22-14.

Trailing, 1-0, Tampa Bay tied it on Marc-Andre Bergeron's point drive with 12:19 left in the third period. Bergeron, with the Lightning on a power play because of a tripping penalty against an irate Jakub Voracek, fired a high shot past Ilya Bryzgalov, who may have been screened by teammate Sean Couturier.

While Pronger was sidelined because of an eye injury, the Flyers went 3-2-1 and averaged 4.8 goals per game while yielding 3.7 per game.

Scott Hartnell, who scored a second-period power-play goal, nearly snapped a 1-1 tie, but Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson made a sprawling glove save of his ticketed drive with a minute left in regulation.

It was hockey's version of the four-corners offense.

The Flyers, trying to get the Tampa Bay Lightning out of their 1-3-1 trap, spent the first period playing "stall ball."

A Flyers defenseman would skate in circles in his own defensive zone - once for nearly 50 seconds - in an attempt to lure a Lightning player out of his spot. The Lightning didn't budge, so the Flyers stayed in their own zone - and the fans' loud boos and vulgar chants echoed around St. Pete Times Forum.

Twice, in a scoreless first period the Flyers were whistled for not trying to advance the puck. As a penalty, a faceoff was held deep in their defensive zone.

Veteran hockey observers, including NHL Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay announcer Phil Esposito, said they had never seen such a call.

"Tampa thrives on turnovers and puck possession," Hartnell said. "It's a tough system to get through the neutral zone. Obviously, we talked about it and had meetings about it. As much as we had the puck, that's a good thing. I don't know what the time of possession was for both teams but we must have had it a lot with that two-minute shift with Pronger on the puck there.

"They eventually had to change their system and that's something that we wanted them to do."

In the last two years, the Flyers have won just 19 of the 38 games they have played without Pronger.

The addition of Pronger figured to boost the Flyers' power play, which was just 2 for 28 in his absence. They were 11 for 40 in games he played.

After failing to score on their first three power plays of the night, the Flyers cashed in on their next man advantage.

Hartnell, in the slot, tipped in Voracek's point drive to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 10:36 left in the second period. The play started with a faceoff win by Matt Read.

It was Hartnell's sixth goal - all in his last eight games.

In the final 4:59 of the second period, Pronger, who wore a visor, went to the penalty box twice (slashing, high-sticking), but the Flyers easily killed the power plays.

Bryzgalov was forced to make just 13 saves in the first two periods.

Early in the third period, Braydon Coburn pounded former Flyer Steve Downie in a fight.

A few minutes later, the Lightning evened things up. On the scoreboard, that is.