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Game 68: Flyers drop Lightning 3-1

For the second time in five days, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning and made it look easy, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before the Lightning managed to spoil a shutout with their first goal in over 120 minutes of play. Tampa Bay has now lost three in a row.

A dejected Ondrej Palat skates off after Tampa Bay's 3-1 loss to Philadelphia Friday, their third straight.
A dejected Ondrej Palat skates off after Tampa Bay's 3-1 loss to Philadelphia Friday, their third straight.
Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 at Amalie Arena Friday night.

For the second time in five days, the Flyers encountered very little difficulty in rolling over the Lightning. Offense, defense, goaltending, special teams. Not one aspect of the Lightning's game worked as their latest streak, the losing kind, reached three games. The outcome, and how it happened, was certainly not what one might expect from a team whose coach said was "...outplayed, outworked, outcompeted, outclassed, out everything" by this same opponent less than a week ago.

"We have to watch the tape. We have to look in the mirror here. Obviously it's not a good enough effort to score one goal in two games. We have to be better, we have to play more north-south and get those dirty goals, and kind of get back to the way we were playing on the road... Hopefully, we can watch the video and figure it out." - Ben Bishop

The Flyers got on the board first at 8:57 of the first, thanks to J.T. Brown knocking the puck past Bishop in the closing seconds of a four-minute High-Sticking penalty called on Steven Stamkos. The goal was credited to Sam Gagner.

At 3:34 of the second, the Flyers doubled the lead with the eventual game winner, again on the power play, when Matt Read scored thanks to Bishop being screened. Andrew MacDonald and Sean Couturier were credited with assists on the play.

They notched an insurance marker at 7:56 when Brayden Schenn scored on a wraparound, getting help from Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Manning.

They would go into the second intermission with a healthy 3-0 lead.

It was nearly 4-0 at the 5:00 mark when Stamkos almost netted the Lightning's second own-goal of the night, but Bishop was able to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.

At 17:18, with Bishop pulled for the extra attacker, the Lightning at least managed to spoil Flyers goalie Steve Mason's shutout effort, when Brian Boyle scored with assistance coming from Anton Stralman and Alex Killorn, snapping a stretch of 122 minutes and 25 seconds between Tampa Bay goals.

"I think we might have been looking for some cuter plays and didn't register all the shots we took, but again, you miss one here and there but it doesn't matter if we have chances, we didn't get them to the net tonight." - Boyle

"Obviously it's a tight race. We won nine games in a row and we're in second place. There is no room for that because you see when you win nine in a row and don't really go anywhere in the standings so so it's just important not to fall on the wrong side of things. We got a point the other night and we lose tonight so it's going to be important to win the next game." - Bishop

The Lightning hit the road for four games, with their first stop in Columbus to play the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Game notes:

  • This was the final regular season meeting between the two teams, with Philadelphia taking the season series 2-1.
  • The Lightning had won their previous six games against Philadelphia at Amalie Arena.
  • The Lightning's home record falls to 21-11-3.
  • They're now 6-12 in two-goal games.
  • They're also 10-18-5 when not scoring first.
  • After going 10-4-0 during February, the Lightning are 2-2-1 so far in March.
  • Nikita Kucherov played in his 200th NHL game.
  • Boyle's goal was his 10th this season, making him the 8th Lightning player to reach double digits in goals scored.
  • His goal prevented the Lightning from being shut out in consecutive home games for the first time in franchise history.
  • The Lightning honored Brian Anderson as the 35th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Anderson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Veterans Alternative. Tonight's community hero has ignited a population of veterans' organizations to work together in solving the issue of homelessness. The former Green Beret created the Veterans Alternative, an organization that gives fallback therapeutic options to veterans adjusting to life at home. They have served over 400 combat veterans and 133 of them have of gone through Accelerated Resolution Therapy to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Along with community leaders and veteran advocates, Anderson also formed the Pasco County Stand Down, a three-day event that assists veterans and their families. His efforts have resulted in over $10 million in grants for Pasco County services. Overall, Anderson will continue to provide services to veterans transitioning out of the military in addition to implementing the use of accelerated resolution therapy in treating PTSD. Anderson becomes the 214th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.85 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.