Lightning Stop Flyers 2-1
Jokinen, Prospal Score in Winning Effort
It didn’t take the Lightning long to get back in the winning groove, as they defeated the Flyers tonight by a score of 2-1.
Philadelphia took the lead at home at 17:20 of the first period when Daniel Briere, playing in his first game back since abdominal surgery, scored a 5 on 3 power play goal while Lightning defenseman Marek Malik sat in the penalty box for cross checking and Adam Hall
was serving time for interference.
The first period was largely dominated by the Flyers, who recorded 18 shots in the stanza to 5 for the Lightning. Ryan Craig fought with Flyer forward Arron Asham at the 15:47 mark, but the duo apparently had not had enough of each other, as they repeated the battle just 3:36 seconds into the second period.
Tampa Bay, gaining a reputation around the NHL for battling, has also done their share of battling back, and they did that again tonight as they turned the flow of the game around in the second period and netted two goals to grab a 2-1 lead.
Once again, it was Jussi Jokinen who got the scoring started when he took a pass from Mark Recchi and snapped a shot past Flyer goaltender Martin Biron. For Jokinen, it was goal number five on the season and he has now connected for three goals over a period of three games. In addition to Recchi, Gary Roberts picked up an assist on the score, his first point of the season.
Five minutes and 37 seconds later, Vaclav Prospal, who finished last season as a member of the Flyers, lead a 3 on 1 rush as Philadelphia was in the middle of changing players and scored what would prove to be the winning goal. Prospal has been an offensive force against the Flyers, scoring a goal in each of the three games against Philadelphia last season, prior to joining them at the trade deadline. Vincent Lecavalier
and Martin St. Louis
assisted. For St. Louis, the assist marked the third consecutive game in which he has collected at least a point.
The one goal margin proved to be enough for the Lightning as Mike Smith
, starting his fourth consecutive game in net for Tampa Bay, made the lead stand up despite intense pressure from the Flyers in the final minutes of the final period. He ended the night with 35 saves on 36 shots, increasing his save percentage to .934, good enough for third place among all NHL netminders.
The Lightning defense was particularly stout when playing a man short, as they stymied the Flyer power play four out of five opportunities.
In an unusual twist, the participants in yesterday’s late trade, Steve Eminger and Matt Carle, faced each other for their new teams. Eminger contributed 14:00 minutes of ice time for the Bolts and ended the game + 1, as he was on the ice for Prospal’s winning goal.
The victory elevated the Lightning season record to 5-4-4 and moved them two points behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Southeast Division. Tampa Bay will face the Capitals Monday night as their five game road trip continues. Their final road game for the trip will be next Wednesday in Sunrise against the Florida Panthers, after which they will play five of their next six games at home in the St. Pete Times Forum.
|Three star selections