USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Lightning put a complete three-period effort together in beating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 Sunday night.
Plagued by sloppy second periods in each game this year and facing a Flyers team that had won their previous two games (after an 0-3 start to the season) by a combined score of 9-2, it's safe to say that overconfidence wouldn't be a concern for the Lightning coming into this game.
"It was huge. I mean, guys are doing a great job. penalty killing, power play and overall we played a 60-minute game. We've been playing some good hockey but tonight was 60 minutes." - Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier
They certainly didn't get the start they wanted in the first one of those 60 minutes when the Flyers scored at the :59 mark with Sean Couturier squeaking a puck past Bolts netminder Anders Lindback on an assist from Maxime Talbot.
"That was a lucky goal. He (Lindback) would have loved to have that one back. It wasn't really a defensive breakdown. It was just a shot from the corner." - Lightning Forward Steven Stamkos
A chippy tone emerged with lots of pushing and shoving early on, culminating in a fight between Lecavalier and Luke Schenn at the 5:09 mark. It was the 22nd fight of Lecavlier's career.
"He (Lecavalier) is our leader. he has shown us why. We are following in his footsteps." - Stamkos
After that, B.J. Crombeen and Wayne Simmonds tangled, with Crombeen coming out of the encounter with six penalty minutes (two each for Holding, Interference and Roughing) to just two for Simmonds (Roughing). The Bolts managed to kill off the extended power play, due in no small part to the individual effort of Tom Pyatt, causing the tone to change and the tide to turn.
Eric Brewer notched his third goal of the season at 16:12 with help from Purcell and St. Louis.
The Lightning cashed in on the power play again at 18:55 with Lecavalier scoring on assists by St. Louis and Sami Salo, giving them a a 3-1 lead they would carry all the way into the third period,
The dreaded second period (well, for the Lightning; the Flyers have done quite well during the second so far this year) came and went with the teams exchanging zeroes.
"We have great character on this team. As a team we just kept rolling on. Coming into the second period, we know we had been struggling but we just played solid. There is still stuff we can improve but overall, it's just a 60-minute game." - Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman
The scoring resumed 58 seconds into the final period when Hedman scored on assists from Adam Hall and Salo
At 12:29, Stamkos capped things off, netting his third goal of the season with Purcell and St. Louis providing helpers.
The Lightning will be in action again on Tuesday, hosting the Florida Panthers in the third game of this season-high five-game homestand.
- Stat of the night? Probably the 26 blocked shots by the Lightning (compared to eight by Philadelphia), with 12 different players credited with at least one each. Brewer and Hedman led the way with four each.
- Stamkos extended his points-scored streak to five games.
- Rookie Cory Conacher saw his streak end at four.
- The Bolts have netted power play goals in four out of five games so far this season.
- Tonight was Marty St. Louis' fourth multi-point game of the season.
- Lecavalier had not been in a fight since dropping the gloves with Tim Jackman, then of the Islanders, on February 3rd, 2009. Although he did go after the Rangers' Artem Anisimov (now with Columbus) on December 10, 2011, in retaliation for Anisimov's "rifle shot" post-goal celebration, he was not assessed a fighting penalty.
- This is the first time this season the Lightning were not outshot by their opponent this season, posting a 26-25 edge.
- Looking for a reason to love this game? In spite of the hostilities being exchanged during the first period, the Flyers stood at their bench and tapped their sticks in a show of respect to the Lightning Community Hero during tonight's presentation. Speaking of whom...
- The Lightning honored Kathy Champion as the 17th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Champion, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Southeastern Guide Dogs. Champion is a true American hero. While serving in Iraq she was seriously wounded and lost feeling in the left side of her body and also contracted Transverse Myelitis. The crippling disease that she and 7,500 of her fellow combat veterans share has left her blind. In spite of all that, Champion has spent the last five years helping other wounded veterans with their disabilities. Champion has been involved with many charitable efforts over the past five years that benefit wounded soldiers, including Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Helping Our Troops and Operations Never Forgotten. She also served as CEO of the TAMCO Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting severely wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite her disabilities, Champion has made some amazing adaptations to her life. She plays golf with the aid of her sighted partner, guide dog, Angel, and also ran a half-marathon.