Flyers turn off the Lightning, 6-2

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Flyers' Bobby Brink celebration.
Philadelphia Flyers’ Bobby Brink, right, and Egor Zamula celebrate after Brink’s goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

As novelty as it was with the Philadelphia Flyers (31-22-7) hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning (32-24-5) under the house lights, it was anything but a natural setting. It’s not like the presentation at the Wells Fargo Center was meant to give an ‘old-time hockey’ feel. The natural flow of the game was interrupted by unforeseen circumstances.

Marc Staal flipped the puck into the neutral zone, where Morgan Frost made a catch play with the puck to Bobby Brink. Brink entered with the puck and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy for a 1-0 lead.

Then, most of the lights went out at the Wells Fargo Center. Phil Laws, the president of the Wells Fargo Center, cited a blown transformer via video from Charlie O’Connor:

No one would blame you if you were under the presumption that Brink broke the Wells Fargo Center. Throughout the remainder of the first period, no official clock was running in the arena. The scoreboard wouldn’t work to keep up shot totals or penalties. If you’re a statistician, you would be best with a pen and paper.

With a lead between periods, John Tortorella said the coaches and goaltenders weighed in about continuing the game. He and Jon Cooper wanted to keep going:

“They asked me if ‘you want to play;’ I did, and he [Cooper] did. We both decided, ‘Let’s ask the goalies.’ We’re up one-nothing at that time, I think, aren’t we? I don’t think Ers [Ersson] was too crazy. I really don’t give a shit what Ers thought at that time, we’re up one-nothing; we’re going to play. I think that’s the biggest thing; the goalies. That’s who it effects the most.”

John Tortorella; 2/27/2024

Some early momentum was squashed on an offside whistle. Scott Laughton would’ve broken free on Vasilevskiy, but he frustratingly flung the puck into the corner of the attacking zone instead after the play was blown dead.

Shortly after, Joel Farabee and Anthony Cirelli served penalties. Four-on-four, the Lightning created space. Nick Paul cut through the slot, ripping a quick stick past Sam Ersson, 1-1.

Olle Lycksell, Owen Tippett, and Frost pressured Vasilevskiy, hoping to reclaim a lead. Lycksell put a puck off the crossbar, Frost was denied on a wrap-around, and Tippett didn’t convert on the powerplay with Brandon Hagel in the box. Along with the power in the arena, the wind seemed to be blown out of the sails, with Tampa Bay grabbing what seemed like game-altering momentum.

“I don’t think either team really developed a whole bunch in the first two periods. Their powerplay did. I’m not sure if it was that [power outage] or if it was just the way the game was played. A lot of delays. A lot of conversations. I think last year, we might lose ourself; get a little antsy when they score and tie it up. We just kept it together, got through the second period; I thought they were better than we were, and then had a really good third.”

John Tortorella; 2/27/2024

Forget about game-altering momentum. Philadelphia put the pedal to the metal in the third period. Tyson Foerster slipped the puck between his legs to finish backhanded on Vasilevskiy, 2-1. Travis Sanheim received a sly pass from Noah Cates on the surf into the offensive zone to score with a wrist shot, 3-1. Then, Sean Walker sniped over the stick side of Vasilevskiy, 4-1.

Strangely, Cooper pulled Vasilevskiy for the extra attacker with 9:08 remaining in regulation. There were accurate, running game clocks at ice level at the time, which eliminates any excuse that the coaching staff didn’t know. The Lightning played with an open net for about three minutes before Steven Stamkos scored six-on-five, 4-2. Garnet Hathaway, Brink, and Walker all missed chances on the open net from the defensive zone.

Before the final horn; yes, the horn worked in the third period, Cates and Cam York added empty net goals. The Flyers recorded a victory versus Tampa Bay, 6-2.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Washington Capitals on Friday, March 1st at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)