Flyers continue to rip through the Toronto bubble. Flyers are able to lock up the #1 seed in the east with the third straight victory in the round-robin. Jake Voracek was unavailable in tonight’s match up. Joel Farabee moved up to the top line. James Van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere returned as well.
From January 8th until the stoppage Philly played like an elite team and lost only seven games. Two losses came to Tampa Bay. This game was a battle for the No. 1 seed but also a sign of things to come in the playoffs.
There was no lack of action in this period. Both teams come out physical. Tampa Bay testing Hart early on. Nikita Kucherov two big chances including a breakaway shot on goal stonewalled by Carter Hart. Once again the Flyers start the scoring. Aube-Kubel scores knocking the puck in after Gostisbehere’s slap shot and an assist from Grant. Aube-Kubel wasn’t done yet. He scores again off a pass from Sean Couturier. Assist from Joel Farabee. 2-0 Philadelphia. Hart makes a huge glove save and a scrum breaks out in front of the net. Flyers own this period. 20 shots on goal for Philly vs Tampa’s 6.
Tampa Bay defender, Hedman was announced out of the game after suffering an ankle injury in the 1st. This does not stop the Lightning from stepping up their game. Back to back power plays for the Lightning do not bode well for the Flyers. Tyler Johnson scores when the Flyers could not clear the zone in the second power play. 2-1 Philadelphia lead cut in half. Less than 6 minutes left in the period, Joel Farabee knocks in a goal to the left of the Lightning goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy. This is the second assist for both Couturier and Gostisbehere. 3-1 Philly lead back up to 2 goals. The Lightning keeps the Flyers scoring chances in check, 7-6 favoring Tampa.
Flyers wingers with sloppy play at the beginning of the third. Carter Hart does not care and continues to stand on his head. Tripping penalty by Provorov continues to test the Philly penalty kill. Flyers defense past the test of the Tampa onslaught. The Lightning keeps the puck in their offensive zone for the bulk of the third period. Philadelphia is able to keep its foot on the defensive pedal with 24 blocks in the game and some amazing saves by Carter Hart. In the last 2 minutes, Tyler Pitlick scores an empty-net goal. 4-1 final for the Flyers victory.
Hits favor the Lightning but Philly does not back down 49-26. Flyers lock up the #1 Seed in the east. Bring on Montreal! NHL playoff begins.
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