Steven Stamkos scored his way into the franchise record books Monday night.
Stamkos’ league-best 53rd goal set the Tampa Bay Lightning single-season record, and Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves to win for the third consecutive time and give the Bolts a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
The win was Tampa Bay’s third in a row and its sixth overall in eight games against the Flyers under head coach Guy Boucher, dating back to last season.
After Ryan Malone opened the scoring on a shorthanded breakaway 8:08 into the first, Stamkos made it 2-0 with just two seconds to go in the period after beating Ilya Bryzgalov with a wrist shot while on the power play.
The goal, which was Stamkos’ 53rd of the season, helped the Lightning forward surpass teammate Vincent Lecavalier’s single-season franchise record of 52, set during the 2006-07 season.
Stamkos, who also scored twice on Saturday against the Islanders, now has three goals in his past two games and is seven ahead of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in the Rocket Richard Trophy race.
Martin St. Louis, JT Wyman and Tom Pyatt also had goals for the Lightning, which looks to extend their current win streak to four games as it completes the second half of a back-to-back set in Boston on Tuesday night.
The Lightning recorded just 15 shots throughout the game and scored twice in the first period, only to have the Flyers respond with two of their own in the middle frame.
Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and Scott Hartnell scored for Philadelphia, which remains four points behind Pittsburgh for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and five behind the conference-leading New York Rangers.
Simmonds cut the deficit in half and made it 2-1 after deking Keith Aulie near center ice and skating in with Brayden Schenn to create a 2-on-1 as he entered the offensive zone. Simmonds dropped a pass back to Schenn, who then fed it across the crease back to Simmonds, who tapped it in past Roloson 3:21 into the second.
Aulie then got beat a second time later on in the period, as Read skated down the slot and scored to tie the game 2-2 at 18:18.
Roloson is now 3-0-0 in his past three starts and has put together his first three-game win streak since Nov. 4-9. After yielding goaltending duties to the now-injured Mathieu Garon for the majority of the season, Roloson suddenly looks like the same goaltender that led Tampa Bay all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last spring.
He kicked aside 11 of 12 shots faced in the third, despite his team being outshot 38-15 in the game, and came up with a huge game-saving stop on Jaromir Jagr from in-close with 13 seconds to go in regulation. After Read drew the Flyers even, it didn’t take long for the Lightning to re-gain the one-goal lead.
St. Louis beat Bryzgalov up high over the shoulder on a breakaway at 2:27 of the final period after taking a beautiful cross-ice pass from Tim Wallace.
Wyman then capitalized on a Philadelphia turnover behind its own net to make it 4-2 at 17:11, but Hartnell’s 36th goal of the year while on the power play cut the deficit to just one with 1:13 to go.
That was as close as Philadelphia would get, as Pyatt’s empty-net tally with three seconds to go sealed it.