Flyers stunned at home in loss to Lightning

Flyers stunned at home in loss to Lightning
March 27, 2012, 2:16 am
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Whats that saying in the National Hockey League this late every season? Beware of the bottom dwellers?
Teams like the injury-ravaged and rebuilding Tampa Bay Lightning might not be going to the playoffs, but they certainly can be spoilers for those who are.
The Bolts stunned the Flyers Monday night at Wells Fargo Center with a 5-3 victory.
Thats a huge lost two points the Flyers could have picked up on the idle Rangers and Penguins in what has become a suffocating race to the finish in the Eastern Conference.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen picked up his 400th career assist in the game.
Until Monday, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov had given up two or less goals in his previous 11 games.

Obviously, 12 wasnt a magic number.
Bryzgalov was sleeping in the final minutes of the game when defenseman Matt Carle lost control of the puck behind him and it skidded out to J.T. Wyman, who slipped it past Bryzgalov before he realized what had happened.
It was a 2-2 game after an early dominant shift by the Flyers to start the third period when Tim Wallace fed Marty St. Louis, who had a very strong performance, for a breakaway goal at 2:27
You could not have asked for a more dreadful opening period by both teams. And this time, Tampa Bay wasnt playing a trap.
Simply stated, the Flyers were in their figure skating mode, trying too many cute passes, too many fancy plays, being too soft on the puck.
They had two power plays and unlike the Montreal game where the Flyers scored almost at will, the Flyers did nothing right.
Tampa scored to open the game, then scored a crushing goal with less than two ticks remaining in the period to take a 2-0 lead at intermission.
Both goals had Danny Brieres involvement. His turnover during the Flyers' first power play led to Ryan Malones shorthanded goal on yet another first shot, first goal from the opposition.
Thats seven or eight times this season that has happened. This was Bryz 19th start in the last 21 games two games he was a back-up to Sergei Bobrovsky.
With six seconds left in the period, Briere had an interference call setting up a brief Bolts power play.
Of course, anyone familiar with the NHL's second-leading scorer, Steven Stamkos, knows he doesnt need a full two minutes to score.
All Stamkos needed was four seconds, initally fanning on St. Louis pass, then hammering it the second time high over Bryzgalov to make it a miserable 2-0 opening period for the Flyers.
Thats 53 goals for Stamkos, breaking Vinny Lecavaliers franchise mark (52) set in 2006-07.
The second period was totally different as the Flyers flat out dominated the Bolts, outshooting them 16-2 while evening the score.
Lately, guys have been ending prolonged scoring droughts. Wayne Simmonds snapped his 16-game slump with a goal three minutes into the second period to actually give the crowd something to cheer about and get the Flyers into the game.
He had a perfect give-and-go rush to the net from Brayden Schenn, who dropped the pass right into the paint for Simmonds to pot his 23rd goal of the season.
I heard Schenner yelling on the play so I just wanted to cut toward the middle and pass the puck back to him, Simmonds said.
He took his man wide and I drove the net and he made a perfect pass to me.
With less than two minutes left, the Flyers had yet another rush to the net, this time, with Timonen sliding the puck through the slot for Matt Reads diving shot that produced his 22nd goal.
That assist was Timonens magical No. 400. Read has scored a goal in back-to-back games.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at

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