Lightning (9-7-2, 20 Points) at Flyers (12-5-2, 26 Points)
Last 10: Tampa Bay (4-5-1); Philadelphia (8-1-1)
Season Series: Tonight’s game at the Wells Fargo Center is the second of four meetings. The two clubs met earlier this season on Oct. 21, also in Philadelphia, marked by a 3-2 Lightning victory in which goaltender Dan Ells earned a win in his Tampa Bay debut. The teams meet twice more in February at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay has points in three out of the last five games played in Philadelphia and has gone 8-3-1 in Philadelphia since its Stanley Cup winning season in 2003-04. The Lightning also come into tonight with the momentum coming off a 4-2 win over the Islanders last night, with which it snapped a five-game losing streak on the road.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay is playing its second game on the road this evening, as well as its second straight, as tonight concludes the team’s fifth back-to-back set of the season. The Lightning wrap up the three-game set away from home on Saturday at Buffalo. Tampa Bay kicked off the trip on the right foot last night, handing the Islanders their 11th straight loss. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis each extended their point streaks to six games each, while St. Louis also earned his 700th career point with two assists. Brett Clark added a power-play goal and Dan Ellis also had 34 saves in the win, in which the Lightning totaled 21 blocked shots.
FLYERS – Philadelphia hosts the Lightning tonight in a brief one-game home stand before traveling to Washington to take on the Capitals Saturday. The Flyers have won three of the last four and seven straight at home. Philadelphia has been hot recently, gaining points in nine of its last 10 games, but faltered in its last time out in a 3-0 shutout in Montreal. The Canadiens received two power-play goals from Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta as well as an additional tally from Tomas Plekanec, despite being outshot 28-41 by Philadelphia.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos leads the league with 16 goals and 30 points, and is enjoying a six-game point streak along with teammate Martin St. Louis. Philadelphia captain Mike Richards has five goals and an assist in his last six games, while defenseman Chris Pronger has tallied three assists in his last four. Claude Giroux also has seven points in his last four for the Flyers.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Simon Gagne (neck, placed on Injured Reserve) and Vincent Lecavalier (hand, placed on Injured Reserve); FLYERS – Michael Leighton (back), Dan Carcillo (MCL), Matt Walker (hip) and Ian Laperriere (post-concussion syndrome).
Quotable: “The American league, you lose somebody, somebody will step up or a few people will step up. In the NHL, when you lose somebody, when you're missing two or three, there's too much out there that you're missing, and you're going to have to reinvent the way you play to manage that. That's the biggest adjustment I'd say I found.” – Head Coach Guy Boucher, on what he has learned through his first 17 games as an NHL head coach and how to deal with injuries
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