Kucherov, Lightning strike down Flyers in Philadelphia

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Flyers' Jamie Drysdale celebrates.
Philadelphia Flyers’ Jamie Drysdale, right, and Tyson Foerster celebrate after Drysdale’s goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers (25-17-6) lost both games in their matinee back-to-back. On Tuesday, they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning (25-18-5), hoping to get back into the win column.

Unfortunately, the Lightning with Nikita Kucherov was too much for the Flyers to handle, defeated 6-3. They’re winless in their last three games.

“We take two stupid penalties. Walks [Sean Walker] penalty is, it’s just ridiculous. Cam’s [Atkinson] penalty; and they make you pay, so, we were chasing the game. We fought, we kept on trying to get back into it, but it doesn’t take them much to score a goal on the powerplay, and that hurt us today.”

John Tortorella; 1/23/2024

Hours before the opening faceoff, the Flyers released two big announcements. First, Owen Tippett is on the injured reserve list, and Cal Petersen is recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Second, Carter Hart was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons and will be out for the foreseeable future. That makes Sam Ersson the defacto starting goaltender.

“Obviously, it hurts with Hartsy [Hart] out; my roommate and one of my best friends, it sucks. We have full confidence in Ers [Ersson] and we know he’s gonna do the job for us.”

Cam York; 1/23/2024

Here is how the game played out:

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

In the first period, the Flyers managed to outshoot the Lightning, 7-5, but trailed 2-0. Brayden Point opened the scoring. A shot from Maxwell Crozier was deflected past Ersson, 1-0, with 18:14 remaining. Kucherov doubled Tampa Bay’s lead as their powerplay expired. Kucherov blazed a one-timer past Ersson as Rasmus Ristolainen was released, 2-0, with 1:15 remaining.

Kucherov has been dominant all season, and he showed off his lethal shot on the powerplay.

An action-packed second period included four goals scored. Kucherov converted on another Lightning powerplay, 3-0, with 17:36 remaining. It was his 30th of the season with plenty of space on Ersson’s glove side.

Cam Atkinson extended his point streak to six games, finding the back of the net after redirecting a shot by Joel Farabee (who extended his point streak to seven games), 3-1, with 10:04 remaining. Then, Jamie Drysdale scored his first with the Flyers, cutting the deficit to one. A powerplay goal, Drysdale found space near the top of the right faceoff circle and ripped a shot past Vasilevskiy, 3-2, with 5:56 remaining. Dysdale and Morgan Frost, who fed Drysdale the pass, found instant powerplay chemistry since first playing together this season.

Michael Eyssimont put Tampa Bay back up by two. Victor Hedman fired a shot from the point, which missed wide. Kucherov recovered the puck and found Eyssimont below the hash marks to beat Ersson, 4-2, with 2:18 remaining.

Cam York, in the third period, brought the Flyers back to within one with 19:18 remaining in regulation. His initial shot was blocked by Nick Perbix, but York followed through and did his best baseball swing to bat the puck out of the air and past Vasilevskiy, 4-3. “I used to play baseball when I was younger,” York said.

In the late stages of the third period, the Flyers had momentum, but the Lightning closed the door with two empty net goals, courtesy of Brandon Hagel and Kucherov, 6-3.

Milestone Night For Farabee

Farabee dressed in his 300th NHL game and scored his 40th point of the season, a new career-high. Quite the milestone for Farabee.

He is 23 years old and breaking out this season as a key driver of offense for the Flyers.

Ersson, Defacto Starter

The tide has shifted between the pipes in Philadelphia. With Hart on an indefinite leave of absence, Ersson now owns the crease. Both players have provided stable goaltending all season, which has contributed to the Flyers’ success. Now, Ersson has the chance to prove that he has the tools to be a #1 goaltender in the NHL.

“I just do my thing like I said all year. I’m ready whenever they call upon my name to go in and play and that’s all I can think about.”

Sam Ersson; 1/23/24

An elite Tampa Bay offense got to Ersson early, causing the Flyers to play catch-up all night.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)