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LIGHTNING (26-14-4) at FLYERS (23-17-4)
Philadelphia 8-2-0; Tampa Bay 6-3-1
Sun Sports; AM 970 WFLA
This is the middle tilt of a three-game set between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers and lone meeting at Wells Fargo Center. The Bolts won the first matchup between the two clubs, 4-2, despite a late two-goal rally by the Flyers in the third. Victor Hedman recorded three points, including the game-winner, in the victory.
Winning six out of their last seven games away from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Lightning look to snap the Flyers' 10-game home winning streak.
LIGHTNING –Saturday in Philadelphia the Bolts must turn the page from a late-game upset during the 60-minute mark versus the Washington Capitals Thursday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It was their third straight loss at home and second at the hands of the Caps, who stole a 6-5 game with seconds remaining in their first meeting of the season.
Despite Washington managing just 11 shots through the final two periods, Anders Lindback found himself struggling, allowing four goals on 20 shots, including two power-play markers. As for the rest of the team, they accumulated 36 shots on goal, but the Capitals' young netminder, Philip Grubauer, was excellent.
The Lightning also lost blueliner Radko Gudas (lower body) during the first period Thursday. His status for Saturday has not yet been determined along with healing forward J.T. Brown (upper body). Ben Bishop was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday's game. He is eligible to return to action Monday, but head coach Jon Cooper offered nothing more than the hopes he would play in one of the back-to-back games to start next week.
FLYERS – Philadelphia has not lost a contest at home since the middle of November and that comes amidst a three-game winning streak overall. Starting the season at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have catapulted themselves into the conversation, but in great position to make the playoffs as it stands now with 50 points for second in the division.
With January proving to be a pivotal month for many teams the Flyers are not immune. After their bout with the Bolts five of their next seven meetings comes within the Metropolitan, where the second through seventh place teams are separated by just eight points.
Ondrej Palat continues to roll for Tampa Bay, recording a multiple point (one goal, one assist) game Thursday against Washington. He now has a new franchise record eight-game rookie scoring streak, which is also tied for the second-longest active streak in the league with the Colorado Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog.
1/6 – Recalled G Cedrick Desjardins from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), G Ben Bishop (sprained right wrist, day-to-day), J.T. Brown (upper body, day-to-day), D Radko Gudas (lower body, day-to-day), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Flyers – F Matt Read (concussion, out), F Zac Rinaldo (left high-ankle sprain, out)
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