Flyers and Michael Leighton are lit up by Lightning

Flexible Flyer: Backup goalie Michael Leighton, who started in place of Ilya Bryzgalov, makes a save during the second period. Five Lightning players put the puck behind him.
Flexible Flyer: Backup goalie Michael Leighton, who started in place of Ilya Bryzgalov, makes a save during the second period. Five Lightning players put the puck behind him. (CHRIS O'MEARA / AP)
Posted: January 29, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. - Flyers backup goalie Michael Leighton played with some rust Sunday, which was to be expected considering he hadn't started a regular-season NHL game since late in 2010.

The Flyers' special teams looked rusty, too, and that shouldn't have been expected when you consider they were playing their sixth game in nine days.

Put it together and the Flyers' two-game winning streak ended with a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Leighton, hurt by the lack of exhibition games before the lockout-shortened season, gave the sizzling Ilya Bryzgalov his first break of the year. He didn't use the long layoff as an excuse.

"I actually felt pretty good," Leighton said. "My conditioning was really good. Just one of those things where you have to get into a rhythm. I'm not happy with a couple of the goals I let in, but I have to keep working at it."

The Flyers' power play was 0 for 6 and managed a total of just five shots in 12 minutes with an extra skater. The Flyers got just one shot during an early four-minute power play and didn't come close to increasing their 1-0 lead.

Conversely, the Lightning converted two of three power-play chances in the first period and scored a third-period goal just as another Flyers penalty expired.

The Flyers (2-4) lacked discipline. They were called for six more minor penalties, increasing their total to a league-high 39.

"You continue to harp on it and look at it, and eventually you can react to it by ice time or taking guys out of the lineup," coach Peter Laviolette said. "We're in a position where we need to get guys playing the correct way."

Laviolette said that there was a "crackdown on the rules" and that more penalties are being called.

"There's a different interpretation of interference and some of the stick violations," he said. "I don't think it's one-sided. We're getting seven power plays a game, but we're giving up six or eight."

Fifty-nine seconds into the game, Flyers center Sean Couturier scored from a seemingly impossible angle on the left, but the Lightning dominated the rest of the period.

Failing to increase their lead with a four-minute five-on-four advantage proved to be the turning point for the Flyers.

"You have to capitalize on those opportunities," said winger Matt Read, who had a hat trick in Saturday's 7-1 win over Florida. "I had a great opportunity to score there and kind of fumbled it and didn't put it in the net. A simple thing like that can change the pace of the game."

"The power play wasn't all that great, and after that we took a couple of bad penalties," Danny Briere said. "We can't give them five or six power plays a game - not a team like that."

Teddy Purcell and Vincent Lecavalier scored on the power play, sandwiched around Eric Brewer's goal from the point that deflected off the Flyers' Max Talbot.

Tampa Bay (4-1) made it 4-1 after 58 seconds of the final period when Victor Hedman converted a juicy rebound, and Steven Stamkos increased the advantage to 5-1 by deflecting a shot past Leighton just after Braydon Coburn's penalty expired.

Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who had two minors and a 10-minute misconduct, said the officials are calling games differently and "trying to calm down" things before they get out of hand.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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