The Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night played a very important game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was a game in which the Flyers really needed the two points if they realistically had any chance of catching the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Standings. It now looks like after Monday nights game that the Flyers will be the fifth seed in the upcoming playoffs and they will start the opening round on the road. The Flyers will play the second place finisher in the Atlantic Division which will be the Rangers or the Penguins. The Flyers lost in crushing fashion against the Lightning losing 5-3 against a team that will not even make the upcoming playoffs.
The Flyers were trailing by two goals in the second period. This team just likes getting off to slow starts in hockey games and they storming and fighting back late in games. The team has just made this a total habit this season and will it finally cost them when the playoffs start. Well that is something that all the fans will find out pretty soon as the playoffs are just around the corner. The Flyers do lead the NHL this season with eight comeback wins after trailing after two periods.
The Flyers again got off to a slow start in this game but this time they could not come back and it cost them having the slow start. They fell behind 2-0 in the first period but in the second period they evened the game and were totally taken the play to the Lightning. The Flyers got goals from Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds in the middle period. The Flyers were all over the Lightning in this period. In the game the Flyers nearly out shot Tampa Bay by a 3-to-1 margin.
Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scored 2:27 into the third period to give the Lightning a lead in which they would not give up the rest of the night. Tampa Bay added an empty net goal with 4 seconds left in the game to seal the deal and give the Lightning two points.
The loss by the Flyers on Monday night pretty much locked the Flyers in the fifth position in the Eastern Conference Standings and they will have a very difficult match up in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they will open up the playoffs on the road. The Flyers look to be on a collision course with the second place finisher in the Atlantic Division and that will be either the Rangers or the Penguins.
The Flyers have three of their remaining six games against the Penguins and the Rangers. The Flyers do have six point lead over the New Jersey Devils who are in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.
The thing and question the Flyers must ask themselves is do they rest their veterans and star players and just come to the conclusion that they will finish with the fifth seed. Do they do the opposite and think they really do have a chance to catch the Rangers or Penguins and well go after it. This is the healthiest the Flyers have been all season and they just need to realize that they need to be ready for the real season and that is the chase for the altimate prize and that is the Stanley Cup.