TAMPA -- Say goodbye to catching the New York Rangers and second place in the Metro Division.
The Flyers' 4-2 loss to the Lightning on Thursday, coupled with the Rangers' 2-1 win over Buffalo, clinched second place for the Rangers and home ice for them.
The best the Flyers can do now is third place in the division.
No one really gave backup Lightning goalie Anders Lindback much of a chance. Not with a 6-12-2 record and whopping 3.11 goals-against average.
Lindback, however, was frighteningly good at the Tampa Bay Times Forum with 34 saves. He has seven wins now -- three this season against the Flyers.
Richard Panik broke a 1-1 tie at 4:33 of the third period with a backhander in the slot to the far post. Tampa made it 3-1 before Sean Couturier got a deflection to make it close.
The Flyers had 27 shots through two periods and should have had at least three goals. It took a power-play marker from Wayne Simmonds late in the second period just to tie it.
Ray Emery, who came into the game with a lifetime 2.41 GAA against the Lightning, was in net -- his third start in six games.
The Flyers are now 1-6-1 in this arena since the 2010-11 season.
The Lightning controlled the play and the puck for much of the first half of the opening period, even if the Bolts were deficient in getting shots off. Midway in, things shifted with the Flyers getting some good scoring chances but failing to cash in.
High risk ...
... and no reward as Steve Downie tried a dangerous pass on his first shift, turned the puck over and it created an odd man rush the other way with Steven Stamkos and rookie Tyler Johnson. The result was a wicked shot from the left circle that Emery had no chance to get to for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into play. Johnson’s 24th goal is franchise high for a Bolts' rookie.
He’s not Ben Bishop, but Lindback certainly took his game to the next level against the Flyers with several tough saves in the first period -- one on Jakub Voracek and another on Brayden Schenn -- including snaring Tye McGinn’s shot out of the air on what was an open net for a split second.
Emery had some very tough ones through two periods. Ray Callahan dinged the left post in the second period during a Bolts power play and Emery gloved the pop-up rebound.
Lindback had four during one sequence: Two on Claude Giroux, one on Voracek and one on Scott Hartnell.
That was the case from start to finish because of the heat and humidity. There were pucks bouncing everywhere and not laying flat.
That cost Couturier a partial breakaway goal in the middle period as he could not control the puck, something that stymied the Flyers quite a bit.
He has 15 power-play goals and 27 goals overall. He needs one goal to tie his career high set in 2011-12 -- his first season as a Flyer.
Stamkos scored his 25th goal late in the game.
The Flyers and Lightning were both 1 for 3 on the power play.
The Flyers worked on it long and hard on Wednesday and still it looked disorganized in the opening period.
Simmonds could not handle a hard tape-to-tape pass from Giroux when he was one-on-one with Lindback. Then again, the ice was brutal and passes would not lay down.
Simmonds made up for it with a slow-motion, turnaround shot off a pass from Giroux late in the second period to make it 1-1.
Overall, the Flyers did not take advantage of their power play chances, something that has dogged them lately.
Adam Hall had a breakaway off a Matt Carle turnover and Lindback turned it aside.
Johnson is the second rookie in NHL history to notch five power-play goals and five shorthanded goals in a season. Dennis Maruk (1975-76) was the first to do it.
Johnson is tied with veteran Brad Marchand in the overall race for shorthanded goals.
Defensemen Hal Gill and Nick Grossmann; forwards Zac Rinaldo (suspended) and Jay Rosehill. All were healthy.