Call it the Tampa Bay Factor.
For whatever reason, the Flyers can't seem to beat the Lightning, and their struggles continued Tuesday night as they dropped a 3-1 decision at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the Flyers' sixth straight loss to the Lightning, who have beaten the Flyers in different ways in recent years - with their neutral-zone trap, their explosive offense, or, like Tuesday, in a tight-checking game.
The Flyers are 3-12-1 against the Lightning since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, making his NHL debut, made 23 saves and registered the win. Vasilevskiy, 20, starred for Syracuse in the AHL this season and was recalled before the game because of an injury to Ben Bishop.
The Lightning, playing their second game in as many nights and their third game in four nights, iced the win on Valtteri Filppula's empty-net goal with 41.8 seconds left.
"We should have taken advantage of a tired team," losing goalie Steve Mason said. "I don't think we did a great job of that. . . . I don't think we generated enough to come out with a win."
With just under 15 minutes left, Vasilevskiy made one of his best stops when he denied Scott Laughton in front after the rookie center made a clever move past defenseman Mark Barberio and tried to beat the goalie with a backhander.
Vasilevskiy stopped Michael Raffl from in close twice in the game, including a save with just under six minutes left.
The loss ended the Flyers' five-game points streak (3-0-2). They played another strong defensive game - outshooting the Lightning, 24-23 - but didn't put enough sustained pressure on Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay used a raw rookie in goal, had played the previous night in Pittsburgh, and had lost four of its previous six games.
In other words, it seemed a good time for the Flyers to end their losing streak against the Lightning. It didn't happen.
"We had trouble breaking the puck out and getting into their end," defenseman Mark Streit said. "We had way too many turnovers in the neutral zone, and we didn't get too many clean breakouts. They skate hard and you have to match it; we had a little sloppiness here and there. . . . You can't be happy with the effort and the way we played tonight."
Tampa Bay got even-strength goals from Steven Stamkos (right-circle blast) and Tyler Johnson (a rebound) early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Earlier, Wayne Simmonds scored his sixth goal in the last six games, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Simmonds tipped Streit's power-play shot past Vasilevskiy with 40.4 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Flyers, 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference, were both good and lucky in the opening 20 minutes.
Good: They won 65 percent of the faceoffs, scored the period's only goal, and snuffed out both of Tampa's power-play attempts.
Lucky: The Lightning had three shots hit iron in the first seven minutes, and with Mason out of position, rookie Jonathan Drouin appeared to have a sure goal with about seven minutes left in the period before sprawling defenseman Nick Schultz kicked out the shot with his skate.
"It was just desperation," Schultz said, "and I got lucky it hit me."
But after a solid first period, the Flyers didn't match the intensity of a team that should have been tired from playing the previous night.
"I think we were sloppy at times and didn't have the urgency we needed," Schultz said. "Obviously they came in on back-to-back nights and we had been sitting for a couple days, so I think we needed a little more energy, a little more desperation in our game that we didn't have at certain times."