Not even a week-long hiatus could slow down Teddy Purcell.
After failing to be named an All-Star in last week’s festivities, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward sure is playing like one.
Purcell had two goals, Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves and the Lightning cruised to their sixth straight win with a 4-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night.
“It’s a big win,” Purcell said. “Coming out of the break, we really didn’t know what to expect. We came out fresh and we were jumping in the first period and got off to a big lead.”
The Lightning last won six in a row during an eight-win stretch from Feb. 23 to Mar. 6, 2004 on their way to capturing the team’s first-ever Stanley Cup.
Tuesday’s victory was the third straight this season over the Flyers, who lead the Lightning by two points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Lightning have outscored their opponents 13-1 in that stretch.
Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped three of the first six shots faced, but was pulled after allowing the game’s first two goals on as many shots in the first 1:21 of the contest.
Purcell opened the scoring just 19 seconds in after skating up through the slot and receiving a pass from Vincent Lecavalier before wristing one past the Flyers net minder.
He doubled the lead just over a minute later, giving him seven points in his last three games and notching him the first multi-goal game of his career.
“I think we caught the goalie off guard and then put it in,” Purcell said. “I kind of got a lucky bounce and it hit off my leg, but when you go to the net, I guess you get lucky sometimes.”
Philadelphia dropped just its second game in its last eight outings and suffered its first shutout since losing 5-0 to the Florida Panthers on Dec. 20.
“When you’re down 2-0 on the first two shots, I think that surprised everybody,” Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said. “We didn’t give up a whole lot the entire night and I thought we had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t find anything. It was one of those nights.”
Much of that frustration had to do with the play of Roloson.
The Tampa Bay net minder’s shutout was his fourth in 11 games since joining the Lightning on Jan. 1 and accounted for his fifth consecutive win.
“I don’t think it's a roll," Roloson said. “I just think that the team is playing great. I’m fortunate enough to be making the best of an opportunity.”
Philadelphia entered the game with the league’s highest total of goals scored on the road with 85, but Roloson rose to the occasion, including making a point-blank save on Andreas Nodl from in-close at 15:26 in the third period.
“You’ve got to give him credit,” Flyers captain Mike Richards said. “He played well tonight and we didn’t get a lot of traffic in front of him, which allowed him to see the shots. A great goaltender like Rollie is going to stop them if he sees them.”
Tampa Bay went up 3-0 when Downie stickhandled through the slot and fired a wrist shot through the legs of Bobrovsky at 14:24.
Stamkos capped the scoring with his league-leading 39th of the year at 8:51.