The Tampa Bay Lightning went into Philadelphia and won a game in which they were not at their best; however they did just enough to get a hard-fought, 3-2 victory. Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Steve Downie all contributed to the Bolts’ victory Thursday night.
The Flyers took the play to the Bolts in the first period taking a 14-5 shot advantage after one period of play. The Lightning played an overtime game the night before and the team appeared to come out with heavy legs at the start of the game.
But Stamkos found his legs and gave the Lightning an early lead at 15:11 of the first period. Downie set up the former first overall pick, digging the puck out of the corner and making a nice pass to Stamkos, who lit the lamp for his fourth goal of the year.
Philadelphia was not behind long as Nikolay Zherdev took a cross ice pass from James van Riemsdyk for the tying goal at 17:03 of the first period. Zherdev had two Lightning defenseman draped all over him as he guided the puck past goaltender Dan Ellis.
The Flyers had a nice tribute to former Flyer Simon Gagne as he was warmly welcomed by the fans in the arena; he played in Philly for 11 years.
Dominic Moore scored to give Tampa the lead back in the second period as he poked in a rebound for this second goal of the season. Moore scored at 14:49 of the second assisted from Brett Clark and Adam Hall. Pavel Kubina extended the lead with a shot from the point at 1:27 of the third period; Kubina scored his first goal of the year from Steve Downie and Martin St Louis.
Danny Briere woke up the Wells Fargo center midway thru the third period with a laser like shot past goalie Dan Ellis to cut the lead to 3-2, goal was his third of the season from Leino and Carle. It was too little too late as the Flyers took a couple of late penalties which killed the momentum and the Bolts finished off the Flyers.
Game notes: Stamkos leads all goal scorers in the NHL with his 34 goal in 43 games since January 1st; he is also on a seven-game goal scoring streak. Philadelphia out-shot Tampa 26-24, Tampa was 0 for 6 on the Power Play. The Lightning now travel to South Florida to play the Florida Panthers on Saturday @ 7pm.