Game Recap: Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Flyers dropped their first regulation contest tonight to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 3-2.

Gagne returned to Philly with a victory tonight

The Flyers never led in the game tonight despite outshooting Tampa Bay by a total of 26-24. Steven Stamkos, Dominic Moore, and Pavel Kubina scored for the Lightning, while Nik Zherdev and   Here are some quick hits:

– Simon Gagne is a class act.  We will miss him forever in Philadelphia, but the amount of admiration the Flyers fan base had for him only grew after his in-game tribute aired tonight and Gagne’s sincere appreciative response to the Philadelphia crowd.

– Andrej Meszaros played yet another strong game.  Keep an eye on #41 in Orange and Black, he is something to watch this season on the blue-line.

– Defensively, Matt Carle was atrocious tonight.  He picked up an assist on Briere’s goal, but was otherwise awful in the game, taking a crucial delay-of-game penalty late in the contest, coughing up the puck in the second period that resulted in a Tampa Bay goal, and finishing -1.

–  Brian Boucher was ok.  He moves to 0-1-1 on the season and probably would have liked to get that second goal back.

–  Vinny Lecavalier was absolutely invisible tonight.  I expected a lot more out of him.

Nikolay Zherdev scored his first as a Flyer in a losing effort

– Nikolay Zherdev finally broke through with his first goal as a Flyer off a beautiful feed in front from James van Riemsdyk.  He looked relieved to get the first one out-of-the-way after it happened.

– The Flyers only managed a pathetic four shots in the third period.  Based off how Tampa played defensively, I’d say that was more a lackluster effort on the Flyers part than a shutdown effort from the Tampa side.

– Peter Laviolette has GOT to find a third piece to the Richards-Carter-? Line.  Dan Carcillo is not that piece.  I heard Bill Guerin’s still looking for a place to play.

– Lavvy also needs to work on the powerplay.  1 for 17 on the year with the talent the Flyers have is inexcusable.

– The Lightning are off to a 3-0-0 start and look pretty solid.  Chances are they will be playing some playoff hockey this season.

– I really like Sean O’Donnell.  He’s old-school: not flashy, not the best skater, but he gets the job done.

– Danny Briere led the Flyers with 5 SOG tonight.

– Kimmo Timonen led the Orange and Black with 25:40 TOI.

The Flyers are next in action when Sidney Crosby, Eric Tangradi, and the Pittsburgh Penguins come into town this Saturday.  The start time for that game has been moved to 6 PM to accommodate Game One of the NLCS (7:57 PM first pitch), which will be taking place across the street.

Here’s the Gagne video from tonight:

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