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Tampa Bay Lightning alarmed after loss to Philadelphia Flyers

Goalie Mike Smith prepares to get pulled 6:59 into the second period with the Lightning trailing 5-1 on 18 Flyers shots. The Flyers often set up unchecked in front of the net.

Associated Press

Goalie Mike Smith prepares to get pulled 6:59 into the second period with the Lightning trailing 5-1 on 18 Flyers shots. The Flyers often set up unchecked in front of the net.

PHILADELPHIA — Lightning coach Rick Tocchet wasn't aware his players called a closed-door meeting after Monday's nose-holding 6-2 loss to the Flyers.

"Did they have one? Good," he said. "If we have to wait all night for them, we will; whatever it takes."

The 10-minute gathering delayed the departure of the team bus from the Wachovia Center a similar amount of time.

The message?

"We all know we can play better," center Steven Stamkos said. "We've got to play as a team.

"We know we can do it. We have the personnel. We have the coaching staff that prepares us for each game. We just have to go out and execute, especially on the road."

The road has been a black hole for the Lightning, 4-4-4 but a league-worst 0-4-1 away from the St. Pete Times Forum.

Its past three road games were a particular disgrace — outscored 17-4, outshot 99-68 and 1-for-15 on the power play with 13 shots.

But back to the effort against the Flyers that piggybacked on Saturday's dreadful shootout loss to the Devils and was so poor, Tocchet said, "I honestly can't think of who played good."

For the record, Stamkos scored his team-high 11th goal and eighth in his past six games. Jeff Halpern scored his first.

But goalie Mike Smith was pulled 6:59 into the second period after giving up five goals on 18 shots. The final two in 35 seconds gave Philadelphia a 5-1 lead.

Captain Vinny Lecavalier, who had a season-low 16:06 of ice time, and Todd Fedoruk were minus-3. Marty St. Louis and Alex Tanguay had one shot each, and the team had one shot on two power-play chances.

The defense at times seemed mesmerized by the puck, allowing Flyers players to stand unchallenged in front of the net. And no one seemed prepared to throw a meaningful check or win a puck battle.

"There just wasn't any pushback," Tocchet said. "Our wall work was terrible. Our defense had as bad a game as they played this year. It's tough to get anything positive.

"Tonight," he added, "was an alarming message where we are going."

"Sometimes your heart is in the right place but your mind is not," Fedoruk said. "Focus, preparation, who knows? Things that have to be done before every game just weren't there tonight."

Hence, the postgame meeting.

"There's 82 games," Halpern said. "You don't want to think this is the end of the world, but you want to right it as soon as possible."

"Hopefully those guys are going to sort it out," Tocchet said. "I don't want to be going in every game screaming and yelling. Hopefully someone will step up."

at Flyers 2 3 1 6
Lightning 0 1 1 2
at Flyers 2 3 1 6
Lightning 0 1 1 2

First Period1, Philadelphia, Richards 7 (Pronger, Hartnell), 8:29. 2, Philadelphia, Hartnell 4 (Richards, Giroux), 19:15 (pp). PenaltiesOhlund, TB (holding), 11:37; Walker, TB (holding), 17:40.

Second Period3, Philadelphia, Carter 5 (van Riemsdyk, Pronger), 3:20. 4, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 11, 5:18. 5, Philadelphia, Laliberte 2 (Carter, van Riemsdyk), 6:24. 6, Philadelphia, Richards 8 (Hartnell, Giroux), 6:59. PenaltiesHale, TB (hooking), 1:13; Laliberte, Phi (diving), 1:13; Konopka, TB, major (fighting), 3:27; Asham, Phi, major (fighting), 3:27; Giroux, Phi (tripping), 14:44.

Third Period7, Philadelphia, Carter 6 (van Riemsdyk, Timonen), 8:56 (pp). 8, Tampa Bay, Halpern 1 (Wright, Tanguay), 14:57. PenaltiesAsham, Phi (high-sticking), 3:19; Konopka, TB (tripping), 7:16; Hedman, TB, double minor (roughing), 10:56; Richards, Phi (roughing), 10:56. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 5-11-12—28. Philadelphia 12-10-9—31. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Philadelphia 2 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Smith 2-3-3 (18 shots-13 saves), Niittymaki (6:59 second, 13-12). Philadelphia, Emery 7-3-1 (28-26). A18,667 (19,537). T2:20. Referees—Gord Dwyer, Brad Meier. LinesmenBrad Kovachik, Don Henderson.

Flyers 6

Lightning 2

Tampa Bay Lightning alarmed after loss to Philadelphia Flyers 11/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2009 10:49pm]
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