Flyers analysis

Flyers get lift from rookies, big 3rd period to beat Lightning

The Flyers scored five of their six goals in the third period

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A pair of rookies and a huge third period propelled the Flyers to a much-needed, 6-2 win Tuesday night over the Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers emphatically broke a 1-1 tie in the final stanza by ripping off three consecutive goals.

Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster, Travis Sanheim, Sean Walker, Noah Cates and Cam York all found the back of the net on the night.

Foerster, a 22-year-old rookie, gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead early in the third period. He has four goals in three games back from a right foot injury.

Sanheim and Walker added insurance.

Tampa Bay emptied its net with over nine minutes left in the game and drew within two when Steven Stamkos scored.

But John Tortorella's club got empty-net markers from Cates and York to hammer down the win.

Cates (one goal, one assist), Sanheim (one goal, one assist) and Morgan Frost (two assists) had multi-point performances.

The Flyers (31-22-7) were able to stabilize things after losing four of their previous five games (1-3-1).

Tuesday night marked the start of a stretch in which 10 of the Flyers' next 14 games come against teams holding a playoff position. March is a busy and critical month for the club. It has 15 games, including two back-to-back sets.

The Flyers hold a playoff spot themselves, sitting in third place of the Metropolitan Division with 22 games left.

"I think we're all just trying to play our best hockey at this time," Sanheim said. "We know points are crucial. Every time that you can bank them right now, it's huge."

The Flyers are 1-1-0 against the Lightning (32-24-5). The clubs meet once more March 9 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Prior to this victory, the Flyers had lost 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Lightning going back to the 2018-19 season (1-8-3).

The Flyers are being tested by the Atlantic Division in this stretch drive. They have seven games remaining against the Panthers, Bruins, Maple Leafs and Lightning, four of the Atlantic Division's top five teams. So far, the Flyers are 2-2-1 against those clubs.

• The Wells Fargo Center experienced a partial power outage during the game, causing a nine-minute delay in the first period. More on that here.

• The Flyers called up the playmaking Brink in the morning.

"I didn't bring him here to check," Tortorella said. "Hopefully he'll bring some offense to us."

The 22-year-old rookie did so on his very first shift. Brink scored the game-opening goal on a confident play. He took a pass from Frost in the neutral zone, created room for himself going into the offensive zone and laced home a shot.

"I was telling him, I loved his [celebration], it was pretty electric," Frost said. "He's awesome. I think he brings a lot of life and a lot of laughs to the group. It's good to have him back."

The jolt of offense was awfully important for the Flyers considering they were without leading scorer Travis Konecny (upper body) for a third straight game, as well as puck-moving defenseman Jamie Drysdale (upper body). More on that here.

"We miss T.K., he's a huge part of our energy," Tortorella said. "It's going to be hard if he doesn't get back in. … Everybody's got to chip in. I'm not sure what the situation is with T.K., when he comes back. Until he does, we've got to do it by committee and everybody just has to raise their level."

Bobby Brink scored in his return to the lineup to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

• Samuel Ersson converted 20 saves on 22 shots to help the Flyers keep a dangerous Tampa Bay team in check.

The Flyers held Nikita Kucherov to one point (an assist). The Lightning's star forward entered with 102 points already on the season.

"I think we did what we've done all year," Ersson said. "We're very good at shutting other teams' offenses down. I think we maybe tried to have a little bit more patience to stay intact in the middle, protect the middle of the ice.

"We knew their top guys like to kind of lure you out a little bit and then they find seams. We had a little bit more patience in our game and I think we did that in a good way."

Foerster's goal came on a beautiful move and backhanded shot to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy.

"I think we score a goal that he usually stops," Tortorella said. "That gave us some juice."

Tampa Bay's 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion stopped 25 of 29 shots.

• Sean Couturier centered Nicolas Deslauriers and Olle Lycksell on the fourth line.

The 31-year-old captain hasn't been himself of late. He has played a lot of hard minutes this season after missing nearly 22 months from a pair of back surgeries.

Couturier played 12:44 minutes Tuesday night.

"It has been a little bit of a struggle for him," Tortorella said. "At this time of year, as I told the whole team, I have to make the call as far as who's playing certain minutes in certain situations.

"I try to find him, like in the third period, certain situations where I moved him off his line in certain situational play, which I think he's good at. But there's not a lot of overthinking about managing his minutes. It's what they are right now."

• The Flyers practice Thursday at 11 a.m. ET in Voorhees, New Jersey before heading to the nation's capital for a matchup Friday with the Capitals (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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