Season Series: Tampa Bay and Philadelphia meet for the second of four total meetings on the year. The Lightning took the first matchup of the season back on Nov. 9, which after much controversy, resulted in a 2-1 Lightning victory thanks to Brett Connolly’s game-winner just two and half minutes into overtime in front of a home sellout crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay snapped a season-high five-game win streak in its last outing on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, despite the absence of star player Martin St. Louis. St. Louis was inadvertently struck in the face during the team’s morning skate by an errant shot from Dominic Moore, who hours later went on to score both the game-tying goal in regulation, as well as the game-winner in the shootout, to lift the Lightning to victory. Tampa Bay will now look to make it two straight Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center, while also seeking its fifth victory in its past six games against the Flyers.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay wraps up a four-game road trip Saturday before returning home for a pair of games against New Jersey and Calgary, respectively. The week-long stretch away from home got off to a rough start following back-to-back losses against Ottawa and the New York Islanders, but turned around Thursday following a come-from-behind win against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Ryan Malone erased a one-goal deficit to draw Tampa Bay even in the second period, and Dominic Moore beat Henrik Lundqvist with under two minutes to go in regulation to again tie the game and send the contest into overtime. Goaltender Mathieu Garon (28 saves) was brilliant in the extra frame and in the shootout, where he stopped each of the Rangers’ three attempts. Moore bested Lundqvist a second time with the game-deciding goal in the tiebreaker, lifting the Lightning to an emotional victory that snapped a season-high five-game skid despite the absence of key players including Martin St. Louis, Nate Thompson and Pavel Kubina.
“I think the things that I'm thinking about are how we stuck together as a team, responded the way we did, the way (Garon) played, he was unbelievable,” Moore told The Tampa Tribune after the game. “And I think everybody in our room, to a man, is thinking about Marty and we tried to get the win for him. He's our leader every second of every day, and that was our thoughts.”
FLYERS – Philadelphia hosts the Lightning in the final match of a two-game home stand. The Flyers come in on a four-game win streak and have won six of their past seven games overall, but it hasn’t been easy as of late. Three of those victories during the winning stretch have come in overtime, while its most recent win against Pittsburgh on Thursday was decided by just a single goal. The Flyers surrendered a three-goal lead to the Penguins in the second period, allowing their opponent to cut the deficit to two heading into the final 20 minutes. Pittsburgh then added an additional tally in the third period to make it 3-2 with 12 minutes to play, but Ilya Bryzgalov settled in down the stretch to propel Philadelphia to a fourth straight victory.
“We had a good start to the season and now we just keep on winning games," said Flyers forward Claude Giroux.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos had an eight-game point streak snapped Thursday at Madison Square Garden, but nonetheless has points in eight of his past nine games with five goals and six assists in that span. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux is riding a four-game point streak with eight in that span, while leading the NHL with 37 points. Scott Hartnell has also scored a goal in each of his past four games for the Flyers.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Pavel Kubina (lower body, placed on Injured Reserve), Nate Thompson (upper body, day-to-day) and Martin St. Louis (facial and nasal fractures, out indefinitely).
FLYERS – Chris Pronger (knee surgery) and Andreas Lilja (high ankle sprain).
Notable Quotable: “It was a good rallying moment for us. We wanted to stick together tonight and we were not going to win it individually. We didn't have enough to win it individually. We had to win it as a team. That was a gesture that I think proved the players were in it together. Vinny, the captain showing the way, in the fact that we are not going to take humiliation and he certainly set the tone for the rest of the game.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, on his team’s reaction to Artem Anisimov’s goal celebration, which sparked a rally and led to a 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers on Thursday night
Connections: Lightning forward Steve Downie skated in 38 career games with Philadelphia between 2007 and 2008 before being traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for current Flyers defenseman Matt Carle…Another Flyers defenseman, Andrej Meszaros, also spent two seasons with the Lightning including 2008-09 and 2009-10, recording 33 points in 133 games.
tampabaylightning.com is the official Web site of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay Lightning and tampabaylightning.com are trademarks of Lightning Hockey L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Lightning Hockey, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.