Technically speaking, the Flyers were due for a letdown here.You cant play the kind of back-to-back emotional games against Boston and Pittsburgh and think youre going to come back two days later with the same energy against a non-divisional opponent such as Florida.Just not gonna happen.Hence, a 2-1 loss to the Panthers on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
A costly defeat, too, because fourth-seeded Pittsburgh defeated Winnipeg 8-4 and now has a four-point lead on the fifth-seeded Flyers in the Eastern ConferenceFlorida held a 2-1 lead in the third period and much like the previous two, in which the Flyers outshot the Panthers 24-10, the scoring chances belonged to the Flyers.There were too many fancy attempts with the puck. Like Scott Hartnell trying to finesse his attempt for goal No. 36 instead of burying it, things of that nature.Despite getting decent offensive zone time and 11 shots, the Flyers just didnt make anything positive happen. There were too many cute plays instead of sticking to what works shots.They had two wasted power plays in which they were simply listless as the crowd began to groan and boo.No jam as coach Peter Laviolette is fond of saying.Those boos grew louder at 13:04 as the Panthers scored coming off their second penalty kill. Stephen Weiss took an entry pass up ice, and danced around two guys coming back from injury Andreas Lilja and Pavel Kubina then went high on Bryzgalov for a 1-0 lead.Now youd think after that display, the Flyers might come out with something better on their third power play minutes later.Heck, they had a 5-on-3 man-advantage for 42 seconds, but the aggressive Panthers twice cleared the puck. No shots with a two-man edge? Inexcusable.Things didnt get all that much better in the second period as a bad board carom led to Floridas second goal during a Panthers power play at 6:23.Brian Campbell dumped the puck into the left corner with Braydon Coburn in pursuit. It should have been an easy intercept but the carom popped over Coburn and landed on Sean Bergenheims stick.Before Bryzgalov could react to a shot from less than 10 feet, it was past him for a 2-0 lead.That forced Laviolettes hand and he used his only timeout to try and get his team refocused.What the Flyers needed most coming out of that timeout they got at 7:54 when rookie Eric Wellwood went into the left corner to get a puck and from a severe angle, tossed it at the net.The puck bounced off defenseman Ed Jovocop Jovanovskis knee, then his skate past goalie Scott Clemmensen to get the Flyers and the crowd into the game.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com.