Lightning 2, Flyers 1, OT

Peter Pupello  - Lightning Beat Reporter | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

While the Philadelphia Flyers sat back and waited for their chance to score at one end of the ice, Brett Connolly took full advantage of his own opportunity down at the other.

Connolly's game-winning goal 2:30 into overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Wednesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum, capping a game that saw the Lightning overcome at least a one-goal deficit for the third consecutive time to win.

The rookie forward’s third of the season came off Dominic Moore’s shot as he skated in on Flyers net minder Ilya Bryzgalov. After Bryzgalov made an initial save, the puck kicked out in the slot right to Connolly, who buried it in the top left corner of the net.

"It always feels great to score," Connolly said. “For the team to get the win too is great.”

Dwayne Roloson stopped 14 of 15 shots on the night and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored for Tampa Bay, winners of five straight at home.

With the Lightning on the power play, a one-timer from Bergeron at the point erased a one-goal deficit to even things up at one with just over 12 minutes to go in regulation. The goal vaulted Bergeron into the NHL lead among defensemen with 16 points on the year.

Each of Tampa Bay's past three wins have come in extra time, either in overtime or the shootout. With Wednesday's victory, the Lightning collected their 18th point of the season, tying them with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast Division.

"I think part of our success is not getting sidetracked from our game plan," Moore said. "We have stuck with it enough times and have had success that we know we have the ability to make those plays when we have to. That’s a good sign."

A scoreless first period manifested itself in part due to Tampa Bays neutral zone defensive scheme, which caused Philadelphia to stall in its own zone several times, drawing the ire of the home crowd with the St. Pete Times Forum.

As a result, following 20 minutes, Tampa Bay held a slight advantage in shots over Philadelphia, managing just seven and six, respectively. Heading into the overtime period, Philadelphia had registered just 14 shots throughout the entire night, which marked the fewest Tampa Bay has allowed in regulation all season.

As the two clubs spent a good portion of the game staring each other down in a stalemate on each side of the blue line, the debate on Twitter heated up as to whether the Flyers stall tactics were justified.

The officials consulted over at the bench with Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette several times after blowing the whistle to counter the lack of puck movement. Upon ensuing faceoff after faceoff, the Flyers continued the routine by passing the puck back and forth in their own zone, daring a Tampa Bay forechecker to make the first move.

"I think the rule needs some clarification,” Laviolette said. "The officials said the puck needs to be moving and there was movement, but the play was blown dead again."

While the strategy tested the patience of the sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Times Forum, not many players over in the Lightning locker room seemed to mind.

"You can't blame anybody for that," Moore added. "We have our own system, they have their own system, and that's the way it is. You can't get frustrated by it, you just have to continue to play your game and not worry about it.

An attempt to pick up the pace of play resulted in four Philadelphia power-play chances during the second period, as the Lightning were whistled for eight penalty minutes after being called for just one infraction through the opening 20 minutes.

It seemed to work.

Scott Hartnell notched the game’s opening goal with the man advantage after tipping in a Jakub Voracek shot from the point with 10:26 left.

After Bergeron drew the Lightning even, Tampa Bay nearly went up by one in the final six minutes when a rebound bounced out in front right onto the stick of Connolly, who fanned on the shot before having the puck dumped down in the other end.

The overtime winner was Connolly's third goal in the past four games for the Lightning, who have won seven of their past nine games.

"There's a lot of character in this room," Connolly said. "We have guys that never quit and there are a lot of veterans in here who have been here before and who are great leaders."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
2nd Period
09:34PHI PPG - Scott Hartnell (6) ASST: Jakub Voracek (6), Kimmo Timonen (11) 1 - 0 PHI
3rd Period
07:41TBL PPG - Marc-Andre Bergeron (3) ASST: Steven Stamkos (6), Vincent Lecavalier (6) 1 - 1 Tie
OT Period
02:30TBL Brett Connolly (3) ASST: Dominic Moore (4), Pavel Kubina (2) 2 - 1 TBL
Three Stars of the Game
Brett Connolly
Brett Connolly
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 12:20
Dwayne Roloson
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 15TOI: 62:14
GA: 1EV: 8-8
PIM: 2PP: 4-5
SV%: .933SH: 2-2
Martin St. Louis
Martin St. Louis
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 26:48
Penalty Summary
1st Period
06:15TBL Vincent Lecavalier  Tripping against  Harry Zolnierczyk
06:45PHI Scott Hartnell  Hooking against  Eric Brewer
09:28PHI Matt Carle  Boarding against  Brett Connolly
2nd Period
01:03TBL Nate Thompson  Hi-sticking against  Matt Carle
03:24TBL Eric Brewer  Interference against  Matt Read
09:17TBL Pavel Kubina  Tripping against  Zac Rinaldo
15:01PHI Chris Pronger  Slashing against  Steven Stamkos
17:27PHI Chris Pronger  Hi-sticking against  Vincent Lecavalier
19:51TBL Dwayne Roloson  Delaying the game
3rd Period
03:09PHI Braydon Coburn  Fighting (maj) against  Steve Downie
03:09TBL Steve Downie  Fighting (maj) against  Braydon Coburn
06:17PHI Jakub Voracek  Tripping against  Ryan Shannon
13:17PHI Kimmo Timonen  Interference against  Martin St. Louis
16:05PHI Scott Hartnell  Kneeing against  Matt Gilroy
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/51/7
Faceoff Wins3232
Blocked Shots1511
Penalty Minutes1915
5B. CoburnD00-10520:36
6A. LiljaD0000011:50
14S. CouturierC0001012:18
17W. SimmondsR0000012:51
19S. HartnellL1004417:36
20C. ProngerD0001425:22
21J. van RiemsdykL00-10015:05
24M. ReadR0001019:34
25M. CarleD0000219:16
27M. TalbotC0001016:02
28C. GirouxC00-13024:38
29H. ZolnierczykL000105:16
36Z. RinaldoC000005:40
41A. MeszarosD00-10020:42
44K. TimonenD0100222:21
48D. BriereC0001014:41
68J. JagrR0002019:29
93J. VoracekR0100213:19
30I. Bryzgalov2224.91762:30
2E. BrewerD0011224:53
4V. LecavalierC0103224:56
7B. ClarkD0000019:13
9S. DownieR0002511:24
11T. PyattC0000012:42
13P. KubinaD0110214:52
14B. ConnollyR1011012:20
16T. PurcellL0000014:57
18A. HallR0000013:55
19D. MooreC0111010:19
22R. ShannonR0001012:48
26M. St. LouisR0004026:48
27B. GervaisD0001015:30
44N. ThompsonC0001213:27
47M. BergeronD1004022:26
49B. JonesC000203:52
91S. StamkosC0102026:44
97M. GilroyD0001020:53
30D. Roloson1415.93362:14