Ask Craig Berube about the Flyers' biggest downfall this season and he won't tell you that it's been the defense. Or the goaltending.
Rather, Berube said the Flyers are mired in 12th place in the Eastern Conference because of a lack of scoring.
"We need more timely scoring, that's the bottom line," Berube said, hours before last night's game. "We need some more production and timely scoring."
On Monday, the Flyers caught Lightning in a bottle. Seemingly every puck the Flyers swatted made its way to the back of Tampa Bay's net.
The Flyers scored four times on their first 13 shots to chase 39-year-old backup Evgeni Nabokov from the crease, and five times in the second period alone to match their highest offensive output of the season in a 7-3 shellacking of Tampa Bay.
By the way the first 35 minutes played out, with the Flyers leading by a 7-1 margin, it would have been hard to tell which team was at the top of the Eastern Conference ladder and which was at the bottom. The last time the Flyers scored five times in a single period was Dec. 19, 2013, when they overcame a three-goal deficit to Columbus.
It was the Flyers' first win in seven tries against Tampa Bay, a team that had taken nine out of the last 10 meetings since Steve Yzerman took over as general manager.
The Flyers improved to an unsurprising 13-1-1 this season when notching four or more goals. Along the way, Rob Zepp picked up his second career win in as many starts, and multiple players broke out of scoring slumps.
Brayden Schenn netted his first goal in 15 games. Chris VandeVelde collected his first multi-point game in 79 career NHL contests.
Defenseman Braydon Coburn left the game after the first period with a "lower-body" injury and did not return. The Flyers said Coburn would be re-evaluated with a further diagnosis on Tuesday.
Coburn did block a wrist shot by Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman with 12:02 to play in the first period. It appeared to connect with his left foot, the same one he fractured on opening night in Boston on Oct. 8 that caused him to miss 12 consecutive games.
However, Coburn did remain on the ice for the rest of the period, picking up his fifth assist of the season and also took a shift in the final minute of the period. He did not return to the bench for the second period.
Last night was the Flyers' second consecutive game without defenseman Nick Grossmann. If Coburn cannot play on Wednesday night in Washington, expect spare defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to return. Colaiacovo, 31, has played just five games this season. Last night was his 26th consecutive contest as a healthy scratch.
Claude Giroux turned 27 on Monday … Former Flyers president and chief operating officer Peter Luukko was spotted in the team's executive box with GM Ron Hextall and president Paul Holmgren during the first intermission … The Flyers commemorated Bobby "Chief" Taylor's last trip through town as a Lightning broadcaster with a cake pre-game. Taylor, who turns 70 this month, is retiring this spring after 21 seasons in Tampa Bay's booth. Taylor won a Stanley Cup as Bernie Parent's backup in 1973-74 and was also a broadcaster with the team from 1977-92 … Chris VandeVelde posted his first multi-point game in 79 career contests.