Lightning (6-2-0, 12 Points) at Flyers (3-6-0, 6 Points)
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network; AM 970 WFLA
Tuesday’s game is the second of three matchups between the Flyers and Lightning this season. The Bolts took the first meeting 5-1 on January 27 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, a win powered by a four-point effort from Martin St. Louis. Last season, Tampa Bay went 1-1-0 against the Flyers in Philadelphia, with the Lightning winning the most recent meeting out of town, 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center back on March 26, 2012.
The Big Story:
Tampa Bay had its season-high five-game win streak snapped with Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers, but will look to rebound on Tuesday as the team kicks off a four-game road trip that begins in Philadelphia and goes through New Jersey and Boston before concluding in New York City on Sunday. Philadelphia, meanwhile, looks to gain some steam as its 5-3 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday broke a three-game winless skid and has the Flyers back on the winning track.
LIGHTNING – After holding a brief practice Monday morning, the Lightning chartered a flight to Philadelphia to prepare for Tuesday’s tilt with the Flyers, the first of four road games this week in a span of six days. Tampa Bay looks to get back on the winning track after losing its first game on home ice and just its second game overall on the season on Saturday night, as it fell 3-2 to the Rangers despite a valiant effort. Steven Stamkos scored twice, including the game’s first goal and then again to cut a late deficit to just one in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough as the Blueshirts struck three times unanswered following Stamkos’ opening tally to earn their first road win of the season. Mathieu Garon, appearing in just his second game on the year and his first since earning a victory on January 22 at Carolina, made 27 saves.
FLYERS – Philadelphia hosts the Bolts in the second game of the team’s four-game homestand this week. After dropping each of its previous three games, Philadelphia alas got back on the winning track on Saturday night, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3, a game in which the Flyers were a perfect three-for-three on the power play, and in addition, also killed off five of six penalties. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere each had a goal and an assist, while former Lightning defenseman Kurtis Foster, Braydon Coburn and Mike Knuble also scored goals. The biggest surprise, however, may have come from rookie Tye McGinn, who filled in on the top line for the injured Wayne Simmonds, as his screens in front of the net led to at least two of the Flyers’ goals on Saturday. He is expected to be in the lineup again Tuesday versus Tampa Bay.
Steven Stamkos’ current eight-game point streak entered Monday tied for the league’s longest active with Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner. Martin St. Louis, meanwhile, had four points in his first game against the Flyers this season, and in 35 games against Philadelphia since the 2002-03 season, he has 40 assists and 52 points. For Philadelphia, forward Matt Read has three points in his last two games and leads the team with seven points in nine games.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (Knees, Placed On Injured Reserve), Matt Taormina (Upper Body, Placed On Injured Reserve) and Brendan Mikkelson (Upper Body, Day-To-Day). FLYERS – Andrej Meszaros (Shoulder), Wayne Simmonds (Concussion) and Scott Hartnell (Foot).
Flyers defensemen Kurtis Foster, Bruno Gervais and Andrej Meszaros are all former members of the Lightning, as is forward Ruslan Fedotenko. Lightning defenseman Matt Carle spent each of the past four seasons with the Flyers before returning to the Bay Area this past summer.
“All of that is really a tribute to the guys in the room buying in and sticking to the system. We’ve really been doing a good job with a lot of things, but to win on the road and to win in this league, you have to do those things consistently.” – Bolts forward Adam Hall, in regards to the Lightning ranking among league leaders in power play, penalty kill and goal scoring
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