Season Series: The Bolts and Flyers face off in the first of four meetings on the year. Last season, Tampa Bay nearly swept Philadelphia in four straight games, winning each of the first three meetings before falling in the final matchup of the season in a shootout.
The Big Story: The clubs come into Wednesday’s matchup soaring up through the NHL standings in similar directions. The Lightning have won six of their past eight overall, including four straight at home. The Flyers, meanwhile, are 4-1-0 on the road this season and have collected points in four consecutive games during a stretch that includes three wins.
LIGHTNING – Wednesday’s game against the Flyers is the only one at home this week for the Lightning, who travel to St. Louis on Saturday night to play the first of two contests on the road. Tampa Bay earned a thrilling 4-3 victory in the shootout on Sunday against the division-rival Panthers, roaring back from an early three-goal deficit. The win marked the second consecutive game Tampa Bay has won after being down by at least two goals. After starter Mathieu Garon allowed three goals on Florida’s first 12 shots, Dwayne Roloson took over and stopped all 29 shots faced in relief. The calming effect led to a surge on offense down at the other end, as the Lightning got three unanswered goals, including one to tie at 8:11 of the third period, from Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell. Dominic Moore scored the only goal in the shootout to win the game before Roloson stopped former teammate and Lightning playoff hero Sean Bergenheim, as well as each of Florida’s three prior attempts. Defenseman Victor Hedman did not play in the game due to an upper-body injury sustained last Friday against Chicago.
FLYERS – Philadelphia opens up a three-game road trip on which it will take on three Southeast Division opponents. The Flyers come in with three wins in their past four games, but have collected points in each of those four. Philadelphia also comes in tied with Buffalo for the fewest regulation losses on the road this season with just one. A large reason for that success is Philadelphia’s high-flying offense, which has scored three or more goals in each of its past five games. During that span, the Flyers have tallied eight or more goals twice, including their last outing on Saturday against Columbus. Seven different players scored for Philadelphia in the 9-2 win and Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves. Saturday’s nine-goal outing also bumped Philadelphia’s league-leading goal total to 56 on the year. Who’s Hot: Coming off his fourth career hat trick on Friday and after adding another goal on Sunday, Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has four goals in his past two games and 12 points in his past nine. Martin St. Louis comes in riding a three-game assist streak with five in that span. Philadelphia’s Jaromir Jagr has 11 points over a current seven-game point streak and Flyers forward Claude Giroux has a total of nine points in his past five games.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Ryan Malone (upper body, day-to-day) and Victor Hedman (upper body, day-to-day). FLYERS – Chris Pronger (eye) and Matt Read (upper body).
Notable Quotable: “We have to find a way to play better in the first period, but there really isn't a lot of panic right now. Early in the year, maybe there was a lot of panic after that kind of a start, but we know that as long as we don't let any more in, we know we are going to get the goals.” – Steven Stamkos, on overcoming his team’s struggles to open games this season
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