|PHI||1||2||0||0||1 (2 - 7)||4|
|TBL||0||3||0||0||0 (1 - 7)||3|
Lightning (34-17-5, 73 Points) vs. Flyers (36-14-5, 77 Points)
Last 10: Tampa Bay (8-2-0); Philadelphia (7-3-0)
Season Series: Tampa Bay goes for the season series sweep tonight against the Flyers after winning each of the previous three of four meetings this season. The Lightning won consecutive games in Philadelphia on Oct. 14 and Nov. 18 before collecting a home victory two weeks ago to kick off the month of February.
The Big Story: Much like the last time these two met on Feb. 1, just four points separates these two Eastern Conference heavyweights from first place. Not much has changed since, as both teams have been playing well lately, with the Lightning earning eight wins in their last 10, while the Flyers have one less with seven in that same span. A win, however, could pull Tampa Bay to within two points of the conference lead and complete a series sweep of the Flyers for the first time since 2005-06.
LIGHTNING – Other than the Lightning, only the California Seals in 1975-76 have endured a stretch of 12 consecutive home games. The Seals, however, only won four games during the extended swing, whereas the Lightning broke past that mark Saturday, picking up its fifth victory of the home stint with a 4-3 overtime win against division rival Carolina. Tampa Bay surrendered a two-goal lead with under a minute to play in regulation, but Marc-Andre Bergeron pulled through with an overtime goal, becoming just the third player in franchise history to record his first team goal in the extra period.
FLYERS – Philadelphia kicks off a four-game road set tonight beginning with the matchup against the Lightning and will play three of those four games, including tonight, against Southeast Division teams. The only thing interrupting the Flyers from having a six-game win streak at the end of January and heading into February was a shutout loss to Tampa Bay on Feb. 1. Philadelphia rebounded from the loss to the Bolts by winning three straight, but followed it up with another shutout loss Sunday against Los Angeles. Despite not scoring at its own end, Philadelphia has received help at the other from their goaltending and defensive unit, which have not allowed more than two goals in each of the team’s last seven contests.
Who’s Hot: Vincent Lecavalier has been leading the Lightning in the club’s last three games with four goals and five points in that span, while Steven Stamkos has a goal and five assists in his last three games as well. Martin St. Louis also has four assists in his last three contests. Jeff Carter has three goals and five points in his last four games for the Flyers and Claude Giroux has picked up four assists in as many games.
Notable Quotable: “I've been very impressed watching them and seeing what Steve Yzerman has done and what owner Jeff Vinik has done. You can just feel the good, strong, positive energy around the team. Can they go deep in the playoffs? I don't see any reason why not. They have all the elements. They have structure, they have scoring, they are patient defensively. They can do it all.” – NHL analyst Brian Engblom, and his positive review of the Lightning to this point in the season
|J. van Riemsdyk||50||13||13||26||+12||25||2||2|
|M. St. Louis||57||20||47||67||+5||8||2||5|
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