TAMPA _ Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, back in the lineup after missing six games because of an eye injury, called Tampa Bay’s defensive style “embarrassing'' after the Lightning’s 2-1 overtime victory Wednesday.
"It's not hockey in my book,'' Pronger fumed. "But whatever. The league is letting them do it. Would you pay money to watch that?''
The Lightning trapped and the Flyers stalled in their own zone for most of the first period.
It was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
But the bottom line was this: The Flyers, coming off a 9-2 romp over Columbus, never got their offense untracked.
Six. Four. Four. One.
Those were the shots on goal the Flyers had in each period Wednesday, including the overtime.
Playing against the Lightning’s annoying-but-effective trap, the Flyers managed just 15 shots in the 62 minutes and 30 seconds. Only 10 of the shots came in even-strength situations.
They had little attack time, and Ilya Bryzgalov (22 saves) needed to be perfect for them to win. Bryzgalov was solid for the fourth straight game, but it wasn’t enough.
The Flyers nearly set a record for fewest shots in a game _ 13, which they managed in Washington on Dec. 11, 1990.
It was the Flyers’ fewest shots total since they had 15 in a game in New Jersey last Feb. 10.
The Flyers had more shots miss the net (19) on Wednesday than on the net (15).
“It was the type of game where one team was just waiting ….for their chances,” Bryzgalov said. “It’s part of hockey. This team has their own style, and we have to play against them and find the keys to get through and score the goals and get the chances.”
It was not a good start of a three-game trip. They were facing a Tampa Bay team that used a struggling goalie, Dwayne Roloson, and had two of its top defensemen sidelined with injuries.
The game was shown on national TV, on Versus.
"Way to showcase the product they got over there,'' Pronger cracked. "That's the way they play. Whether it's us or anybody, that's the way they play.''
Breakaways. Pronger played a team-high 25:22 and committed two penalties in the game…..Matt Read won seven of nine (78 percent) of his faceoffs.
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