Power Play Goals & Rebounds Do The Lightning In

Tampa Bay came into Friday night's match-up vs Philadelphia with an eight game home winning streak.  But Flyers Right Wing Claude Giroux had three assists & Goalie Brian Elliott, who was making his 13th straight start, made 24 saves, as the Flyers beat the Lightning 5-3 on Friday night at Amalie Arena.

Both teams went through a feeling out process the first three minutes of the game but then on a pretty give and go by the Flyers, Budaj made a solid save on the first shot on net for any team, this one from close range.

After the slow start from both teams, the Lightning began to apply some pressure & that lead to the first power play of the game, when Flyers Right Wing Jakub Voracek was called for hooking.  And it took Tampa Bay less than 20 seconds to set up a one-timer from Stamkos, who was camped out inside the left circle & blasted a shot past Flyers Goalie Brian Elliott.  The goal was Stamkos' 16th on the season, with assists going to Kucherov & Hedman.

The first period ended with Philadelphia trailing 1-0 but it took some outstanding saves by Elliott on Center Tyler Johnson & another on Hedman, this one inside the left circle.  The Flyers outshot the Lightning 9-7 in the first period but mainly took the shots on goal advantage late in the first period after Tampa Bay went on the penalty kill after Defenseman Andrej Sustr took a slashing penalty with less than 90 seconds left in the period.

Through the first five minutes of the second period, the Flyers were able to put four shots on net but other than one attempt by Flyers Right Wing Wayne Simmonds, they were no strong mounted threats in front of Lightning Back-Up Goalie Peter Budaj.  That is until Lightning Defenseman Braydon Coburn was called for hooking inside their own zone.  And with just over a minute gone in the power play for Philadelphia, the Flyers were able to control the puck in the Lightning zone & with Simmonds posted up to the right of the net, he banged home a shot past Budaj to tie the game at one.

After ten minutes gone in the second period the Flyers had 7 shots on net, helped by the Lightning taking a penalty with over five minutes gone in the period.  And with the help of another penalty by the Lightning, the Flyers were able to take a 2-1 lead when Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere snuck in from the right point & put a rebound past Budaj.

Trailing 2-1, Tampa Bay had a few scoring chances as the period entered the final five minutes including one from Center Vladislav Namestnikov.  But Elliott was able to take make the save, while sliding back into the net.  The Lightning did eventually get the tying goal, when Left Wing Ondrej Palat, Kucherov & Center Brayden Point played a little tic tac toe, with Point getting his 16th goal of the season.  And it looked like the Lightning were ready to take their second lead of the night, but Elliott robbed Center Alex Killorn on a partial breakaway.  

Budaj matched Elliot's save with one of his own but unfortunately the rebound did him in again & Center Sean Couturier, sitting at the right door step, was able to get it past the Lightning goalie. And the Flyers, who had 15 shots on net in the second, were able to take the lead again with just 11 seconds left in the period.

The Lightning, hoping to extend their home winning streak, looked like they were ready to tie the game at three just over a minute into the third period.  But Elliott made an outstanding glove save on Kucherov.  And 32 seconds later, the Flyers extended their lead to two goals, when Defenseman Brandon Manning completed a wrap around & pushed the puck past Budaj.  

The two goal deficit was in danger of becoming three esepcially after Hedman was called for tripping. And during the Flyers power play, the Lightning were forced to make a change in net after Budaj was crashed into with over 10 minutes left in the game.  Budaj suffered an injury to his leg, was unable to put any pressure on his leg & had to be helped off the ice.  

Andrei Vasilevskiy replaced Budaj & immediately was put to the test by Couturier, but was able to turn that attempt aside.  The Flyers, on their sixth power play of the night, looking to extend their lead but instead got caught with Johnson attacking their zone on the penalty kill.  And with a Flyer defenseman missing his stick, Johnson came into the Flyers zone.  And after one deke, Johnson raised a shot high past Elliott for the shorthanded goal & got the Lightning within a goal.  But that one goal Flyers lead held,  even with the Lightning mounting some pressure & with 32 seconds left former Lightning Center Valtteri Filppula added an empty net goal to sealed the Flyers 5-3 win.

After the game, Lightning Head Coach John Cooper was unable to confirm the extent of Budaj's leg injury but did state the team may need to make a roster call-up for a back-up netminder.

The Lightning will try to start a new winning streak when they travel to Columbus on Sunday New Years Eve to face the Blue Jackets.  The puck drops at 6PM, with coverage beginning on 970 WFLA at 5:30PM.



1. TBL - PPG - Stamkos (Kucherov, Hedman) - 7:27


1. PHL - PPG - Simmonds (Couturier, Voracek) - 6:56

2. PHL - PPG - Gostisbehere (Simmonds, Giroux) - 10:03

3. TBL - Point ( Palat, Kucherov) - 15:37

4. PHL - Couturier (Giroux, Provorov) - 19:49


1. PHL - Manning (Giroux, Konecny) - 1:53

2. TBL - SHG - Johnson (Unassisted) - 8:58

3. PHL - Filppula - (Couturier, Voracek) - 19:27



1. PHL - Voracek - (Tripping) - 7:08

2. TBL - Conacher - (Hooking) - 8:45

3. PHL - Filppula - (Hooking) - 12:15

4. TBL - Sustr - (Slashing) - 18:49


1. TBL - Coburn - (Hooking) - 5:49

2. TBL - Kucherov - (Slashing) - 9:30


1. TBL - Killorn - (Tripping) - 7:12

2. TBL - Hedman - (Tripping) - 11:25

3. PHL - Weise - (High-Sticking) - 13:17

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