The Lightning never trailed in this one but had very few opportunities to breathe easy as the Flyers pushed back until the very end of a not very tight yet extremely evenly played game. In the end, the difference came down to Lightning special teams, going 2 for 5 with the man advantage and 2-0 on the penalty kill, plus a multi-point game from Steven Stamkos, who tallied two goals and an assist in tonight's effort.
"Yeah, I don't think we had our best game, but we found a way to win. That's a good characteristic to have. Special teams played a big part down the stretch but they're a good team. They clogged it up pretty well. We scored on our chances and Bish (Ben Bishop) made the saves when he had to. So sometimes you have to get wins like that." - Stamkos
Bishop stopped 24 of the 27 shots he would face on the night, and came up with big saves at key times as Philadelphia was in rally mode throughout the contest.
The Lightning got on the board first when Vladislav Namestnikov tipped the puck past Philadelphia's Ray Emery at 3:29, getting assists from Anton Stralman and Jonathan Drouin.
At 12:43, Wayne Simmonds tied the game for the Flyers, thanks to assists from Pierre-Edouard Bellemaire and Brayden Schenn.
The Lightning survived a late flurry from Philadelphia, fed by some pretty poor passing on their own behalf, to head into the first intermission tied at one. It would not be the last time they needed to fight to survive until the end of a period.
The second period didn't showcase much offense for either side but the Lightning got their first power play goal, and the first on the night from Stamkos at 19:15 of the period. Jason Garrison and Valtteri Filppula chipped in with assists on the play.
The Lightning led 2-1 going into the second intermission.
At 5:30 of the third, Stamkos widened the margin to 3-1, scoring with help from Filppula and Alex Killorn.
Any sense of relief was short-lived as Jakub Voracek got the Flyers back within a goal just over a minute later at 6:38. Brandon Manning and Claude Giroux were credited with assists on the play.
At 16:48, Garrison scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning, converting on the power play with assists from Stamkos and Filppula, pushing the lead at the time back to two.
The Flyers shaved it back to a single goal yet again at 19:07 with Emery on the bench for the extra attacker. This time it was Michael Raffl getting assistance from Voracek and Giroux.
The final 53 seconds featured the Flyers with six skaters and were all spent in the Lightning end, but they were unable to get off a clean shot.
The Lightning will continue their current four-game homestand Saturday night when they host the Washington Capitals.
- The assistant captains for the Lightning tonight were Brenden Morrow and Eric Brewer.
- The Flyers came into tonight's game with a three-game winning streak.
- The two teams will meet three times over the course of this season, but this was the only game at the Amalie Arena.
- Tampa Bay has a record of 8-0-1 vs Philadelphia at home since the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
- Tyler Johnson saw his career-best points-scored streak of seven games come to an end.
- The Lightning honored Daniel Erickson as the sixth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Erickson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Student Alliance for Public Schools.At only 17, Erickson has refused to let the perceptions of someone his age determine the impact that he will have on his community. He has been actively involved at Jefferson High School as a student athlete, securing a 4.0 GPA all while serving as team captain of the Varsity Cross Country Team and distance captain of the Varsity Track Team. Erickson realized that students have valuable insight into issues facing them and their school. However, there was a lack of opportunity for them to share their ideas and solutions. Seeing an opportunity for improvement, he established the Student Alliance for Public Schools to elevate these voices. Erickson's efforts have already made an impact in changing the dynamic of the issue at hand by helping his peers focus on solutions, identify programs that lead to positive outcome and advocate for implementation county wide. Erickson has further taken his efforts to impact student education on a national level. He is working with local and national leaders, including United Way Suncoast and America's Promise Alliance, to host a community Grad Nation Summit this spring. This event will be led by students and is the first of its kind in the history of America's Promise's efforts to raise the national high school graduation rate.