Time: 1:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Broadcast/Streaming: NSPA, NHL, SunS
Opponent SBNation Site: Broad Street Hockey
The Tampa Bay Lightning look for a Keystone State sweep as they head over to Philadelphia following a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The win snapped a brief two-game losing streak that featured a third period collapse (against Ottawa) and a decent game that was stolen by a goaltender (Buffalo). Oh, and there was a little speed bump in the form of a fractured foot for goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Despite the setback, they played a solid game in Pittsburgh. There were a couple of scares, Cedric Paquette was in a tremendous amount of pain after blocking a shot in the first period and energetic rookie Mathieu Joseph was shoved face-first into the boards late in the second period. The good news - they both returned to the game.
Brayden Point led the way to victory with a very productive 90 seconds (scoring three power play goals over that time frame) and Luis Domingue rebounded from a shaky start to make 28 saves. Domingue will most likely get the start against the Flyers just as he will most likely get every start over the next two months. For Domingue, it will be a return to a starter’s role that he hasn’t seen since his days in Arizona.
The Lightning will be without the services of Vasilevskiy for the next few month but don’t expect any sympathy from Flyers fans. Michal Neuvirth is on injured reserve and Brian Elliott injured himself in their loss against the Devils so their goaltending duo currently consists of Calvin Pickard and Alex Lyon.
It’s been a rocky season for the Flyers as they currently sit fifth in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-9-1 record. After winning three in a row, they dropped two in a row. Their biggest problem lies in the special teams area with a power play that is clicking at a woesome 12.7% (29th) while they are only killing 71.2% (30th) of the penalties they take. Not great.
Part of the problem, at least according to head coach Dave Hakstol, is a lack of a certain indefinable quality that most struggling teams point to in times of trouble:
“We need more of that grit, more of that grind.”
Which is odd for a team put together by Ron Hextall and whose mascot is well…this
The Flyers did get James Van Riemsdyk back in their loss to the Devils, and he should help provide some assistance in the grit department (also in the scoring goals department which may be more important).
With the suboptimal goaltending they are likely to get in net, they will need all of the offensive help they can get.
Worst trade between the franchises
There have been a lot of transactions between the Flyers and the Lightning, going all the way back to December of 1992 (Steve Kasper for Dan Vincelette). I know you’re all expecting me to list the Chris Gratton trade/offer sheet debacle, but that’s too long of a story and the Lightning actually ended up with some viable NHL players.
Instead we’re going to focus on a trade that happened between those two deals. On February, 2nd 1995, the Lightning traded goaltender Mike Greenley for goaltender Scott LeGrand. Neither player ever suited up for the Lightning. In fact, between them they only played in two NHL games (Greenley had both when he was with Edmonton).
They did have solid careers in the minors with Greenley backstopping the Atlanta Knights to the Turner Cup in 1994 (a team that featured future Lightning players like Stan Drulia, Cory Cross and J.C. Bergeron). LeGrand was part of the Orlando Solar Bears 16-game winning streak in 1995-96.
Tampa Bay Lightning
J.T. Miller - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Danick Martel - Ondrej Palat (injured)
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
Slater Koekkoek - Anton Stralman (injured)
Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom - Nolan Patrick - Jakub Voracek
James Van Riemsdyk - Jordan Weal - Wayne Simmonds
Dale Weise -Scott Laughton - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov - Robert Hagg
Shayne Gostisbehere - Christian Folin
Travis Sanheim -Radko Gudas