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POST GAME THOUGHTS: LIGHTNING 4, FLYERS 2

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 10:46 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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POST GAME THOUGHTS: LIGHTNING 4, FLYERS 2

The first goal was getting into the playoffs. Check.

The second goal was getting home ice advantage in the first round…. wait… ain’t happening.

Losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 Thursday assured that and now the Flyers will haaavvve to approach the playoffs the hard way – starting on the road in New York, Pittsburgh or Boston.

Not that the Flyers haven’t done things the hard way all season…

Nevertheless, this game was there for the Flyers. They had buckets full of chances. Anders Lindback looked like Dominik Hasek. The Tampa goalie was diving all over the place. He was out of position and still made big saves – or had his teammates making saves for him as defenseman Radko Gudas did twice.

“We had tons of chances,” said Wayne Simmonds in a televised interview. Simmonds scored a power play goal in the game. “That part of our game was there. He was pulling saves out of his butt there.”

The part of their game that wasn’t there was what Simmonds described as “bonehead plays.”

All four Tampa goals were the result of mistakes. The kinds of mistakes the Flyers weren’t making for a large portion of the season – at least not all in the same game.

It was a rough night for both Steve Downie and Scott Hartnell, both of whom combined for the three errors that led to three Lightning goals.

Downie made a low percentage pass in the neutral zone across the ice that became an odd man rush for Tampa and eventually a goal by Tyler Johnson.

Later, Downie lost track of his man – defenseman Eric Brewer – and Brewer was able to get the puck on his stick in a high percentage area and beat Ray Emery.

“It’s mistakes here and there,” Craig Berube said in a televised interview. “We can’t have mistakes like that.”

Hartnell took a tripping penalty late in the third period, which led to the insurance marker by Steven Stamkos on a tough angle shot.

It had to be a frustrating night for the Flyers, who controlled the play for a good portion of the game.

“I thought we were up today and competed real hard,” Berube said. “The first five minutes we turned the puck over a couple times and they got a goal there. But we played pretty good tonight. We just couldn’t finish tonight.”

The Flyers will have to find a way to finish if they want to avoid a first round matchup with the Boston Bruins.

The Flyers find themselves in a dead heat with both Wild Card teams – Detroit and Columbus – as all three teams have 91 points.

Currently, the Flyers hold the tiebreaker over both teams, but need to keep winning to prevent themselves from falling to that bottom spot that would draw the big, bad Bruins in the first round.

That makes this weekend’s final two games against Pittsburgh and Carolina quite important. Win both, and the Flyers are guaranteed to play the Rangers in the playoffs.

Lose both, and that Boston matchup looms without help from other teams. A split could bring any of three possibilities, including a possible matchup with the Penguins.

Needless to say, the Flyers just want to win those games for themselves more than anything involving who their playoff opponent could be.

Because after such a great effort to earn a playoff spot, a bit of a scuffle here in April can be a blow to the team confidence without success heading into the postseason.

Win the final two and that’s four of the last five… and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself.

Lose and… well… let’s not think about that right now.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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