Flyers have ugly showing and another injury concern at center


Nothing got better for the Flyers in a disconcerting trip to Tampa Bay, Florida.

The club's first losing streak of the season extended to three games Tuesday night as the Flyers were blanked by the Lightning, 4-0, at Amalie Arena.

And to make matters worse, the Flyers (8-6-3) have another health concern.

On the other side, despite being without the services of Nikita Kucherov (lower body) and Brayden Point (upper body), the two-time defending champion Lightning (11-4-3) were all over the Flyers.

• Derick Brassard, who has the Flyers' only two goals over the last two games, left Tuesday night's contest in the first period with a lower-body injury. The 34-year-old center was listed as questionable to return but never did.

With regard to the big picture, the questionable to return status was at least a good sign for the Flyers. The fact that Brassard had a chance to come back into the game has to bode somewhat well for the severity of the injury.

The Flyers' big picture at a premium position like center matters much more than this game. The club is already without second-line center Kevin Hayes (abdominal), who suffered a reinjury a week ago. Losing a player with Brassard's experience for any period of time would decimate the Flyers down the middle of the ice.

With Patrick Brown (thumb) also hurt, the Flyers don't have an extra forward. If Brassard is unable to play Wednesday night, the Flyers will have to make a call-up and deal with some roster gymnastics.

Morgan Frost, come on down? Even if Brassard is OK, Frost could be nearing.

• That's because the Flyers' offensive woes are growing in concern as the games pile up.

Alain Vigneault's club was shut out for the third time since Oct. 30, an 11-game stretch in which the Flyers have scored 1.64 goals per game, fewest in the NHL over that span.

If anyone deserves some credit Tuesday night, it's Zack MacEwen. The fourth-liner played hard and was the Flyers' most noticeable forward.

More: With injuries and desperate need for offense, Flyers summon top prospect

• The Flyers had been surviving but they're starting to miss Ryan Ellis.

Third-pair blueliners Keith Yandle and Nick Seeler had rough games. They were often under siege in the defensive zone.

Ellis is out for at least a month because of a nagging lower-body injury. Not only is he an all-situation player, but he also allows the Flyers to properly allocate minutes and slot all of their defensemen.

Ivan Provorov finished as a minus-3 against Tampa Bay. He is much better when Ellis is in the lineup with him.

Yandle and Seeler each had minus-2 marks.

• Carter Hart finished with 31 saves and was not a problem.

The 23-year-old entered with a 2.25 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. He made some quality saves to prevent the night from going completely haywire for the Flyers.

The Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy, arguably the best goalie on the planet, stopped 34 shots and improved to 10-2-0 lifetime against the Flyers.

• Against the Flyers' fourth line and third defensive pair, defenseman Zach Bogosian blasted his first goal of the season to hand Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the opening period.

Going back to last season, the Lightning are now 26-2-2 when leading after the first period.

Tampa Bay took control of the game in the second period with 15 shots and a pair of goals.

• For as precocious and smart as Joel Farabee is, his current funk is a reminder that he is only 21 years old.

Farabee looks like he's fighting his confidence, a byproduct of scoring only one point (a goal) in his last 14 games after putting up six points (three goals, three assists) through the Flyers' 2-0-1 start.

On Tuesday night, Farabee finished with a penalty and had a failed entry that led to Steven Stamkos' 2-0 goal in the second period.

But let's be clear, Farabee is not the only forward struggling to produce offensively. James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny each have one goal in the last eight games, Oskar Lindblom has yet to score a goal in 16 games, Scott Laughton has one assist in the last eight games and Sean Couturier has one assist in the last seven games.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 1 and the penalty kill 2 for 2.

• The Flyers are right back at it Wednesday when they visit the Panthers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Florida is 13-2-3 overall and 10-0-0 at home.

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