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POST GAME THOUGHTS: LIGHTNING 4, FLYERS 2

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 10:46 PM
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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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