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Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers Recap: Lightning salvage a 6-5 overtime win

They didn’t deserve it, but they still got it.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s game is a rare matinee game for the Tampa Bay Lightning visiting the Philadelphia Flyers. It seems that these early games have been rough for the Lightning as they don’t show up to play early. But then again, that’s also been an issue for games that start at normal times. Put both together, and the Lightning could be in for a double whammy. They do have at least one good reason for showing up though as the players’ dads have joined the team for these last two games of the road trip.

Can the Lightning give there dads a good show? Let’s see!

First Period

Through the first two commercial breaks, the Lightning were rather ho-hum. The team had some ok chances, but especially in the first third of the period, they were being pushed around by the Flyers and spending too much time in their own zone. The Lightning started to get things turned around a little bit towards the middle of the first period, but that was slowed up by a Steven Stamkos hooking call to give the Flyers the first power play of the game.

The Lightning killed off the penalty, but were unable to gain any momentum from the successful kill. The period continued along as the rest of the period had. The Lightning finally caught a little break after the referees spent some time swallowing their whistles on a couple of obvious Flyers penalties. With 2:30 left in the first period, James van Riemsdyk was called for an interference penalty to give the Lightning their first power play opportunity of the game.

Unfortunately, it didn’t look good as the Flyers had little trouble clearing the puck and even pressuring Louis Domingue down the ice. Domingue also had some excitement as a puck cleared down to him took a last second hop that he was just barely able to deflect to the side of the net.

The power play ended with the Lightning only able to get one shot on goal, a weak one from the point that was easily stopped. The final seconds of the period ticked off without any further excitement.

The period came to an end scoreless thanks to Domingue. He had to face 18 shots on goal in the period while the Lightning only managed to force Calvin Pickard to make seven saves. The period wasn’t quite as lopsided as it seems as the Lightning were getting shot attempts. They just were getting blocked or missing the net a lot more often than Philadelphia. Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak led the Lightning in shots on goal with two a piece. Ryan Callahan, J.T. Miller, and Mathieu Joseph accounted for the other three shots on goal.

Second Period

Jon Cooper decided to go with the fourth line to open up the period to try and spark some energy to get the Lightning going. They put up a nice shift and gave way to the third line. Unfortunately, the referees weren’t having any of it and called Hedman for holding the stick on a ticky-tack call. Thankfully, the Lightning survived Callahan’s stick breaking early in the power play and an in-close chance for the Flyers at the end of the penalty kill.

The second line had a great shift not long after the penalty kill that produced one of the best scoring chances up to that point. After a shot was saved, Hedman had the puck in the left wing circle for a shot with Pickard way out to the other side of the net. Yanni Gourde and a Flyers player were both in front of the empty net and Hedman’s shot ended up hitting Gourde’s skate and staying out. The chaos then caused Scott Laughton to put the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty.

The Lightning’s second power play of the game started off a little better with NIkita Kucherov able to get a one-timer off on Pickard, but it was saved with the glove. After that, the passes for the first unit stopped connecting. As the first unit gave way to the second unit, Gourde rushed up the middle with the puck. He passed it off to Adam Erne along the wall at the blue line for the entry. Gourde continued to rush towards the right wing faceoff dot and Erne passed it back to him. Gourde one-touched the puck right back to Erne as he moved down into the circle. Erne took one look at the net and wristed it past Pickard on the short side to put the Lightning up 1-0. The goal was assisted by Gourde and Domingue.

With a little less than eight minutes remaining in the period, the fourth line produced a nice cycling shift. Erne dug the puck out of the corner and circled around along the wall and toward the slot. He passed the puck backwards towards the corner for Paquette. Paquette rotated around and took a wrist shot that squeaked between Pickard and the post for the Lightning’s 2nd goal of the game to put them up 2-0. The goal was assisted by Erne and Braydon Coburn.

A couple of shifts later, Erik Cernak got caught for tripping as the man he was defending cut back hard and tripped over Cernak’s stick. The Flyers were able to create a couple of moments of chaos. On the first one, Domingue was able to find the puck in a mass of bodies in the goal crease. On the second one, he wasn’t so lucky. Paquette blocked a hard slap shot with his midsection in the slot. The puck dribbled closer to the net and James van Riemsdyk was able to poke the bouncing puck through the five hole and into the back of the net. 2-1 Lightning lead after the Flyers power play goal.

Paquette went to the locker room after being shaken up by the shot block.

Also congratulations to Flyers Captain Claude Giroux on his 700th career NHL point. He is the third player from the 2006 NHL Entry Draft to reach 700 points after Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel.

With Paquette in the locker room, Brayden Point took a shift centering the fourth line. Coburn helped to break up a Flyers rush in the neutral zone allowing Erne to pick up the puck and get it going the other way with a pass to Point. Point handed the puck off to Callahan coming down the right wing and made his way to the net. Point outmuscled Ivan Provorov for positioning in the front of the net. Callahan found Point’s stick for the tap-in goal to put the Lightning up 3-1. The goal was assisted by Callahan and Erne. With Erne’s third point, he set a career high for points in a game.

The performance didn’t change much for the Lightning in the second period over the first period, but the results certainly changed. To this point in the game, Domingue has done a fine job of keeping the Lightning in the game while they’ve gotten some fortunate goals against Pickard to take the 3-1 lead into the third period.

Third Period

Jon Cooper once again went back to the fourth line to start the period, with Cedric Paquette returning to the ice. The first five plus minutes had a great flow with the Lightning going through two full rotations of the forward lines before a whistle was blown due to a Flyers icing. The flow continued to go back and forth with no great scoring chances for either team.

The Lightning picked up a power play with 11:45 to go in the third period after Hedman was dropped by a late hit from Travis Konecny. Konecny was not happy with the call as he felt he was just finishing his check, but the replay showed the hit was late. 32 seconds into the power play, Brayden Point was forced out of the zone with the puck but then had his stick slashed out of his hands by Claude Giroux giving the Lightning 1:28 of a five-on-three power play.

It only took ten seconds for the Lightning to take advantage. After winning the face-off, Johnson gave the puck to Kucherov in the right wing circle and made his way across the ice to the left wing circle. Kucherov surveyed his options including Stamkos at the center point. The Flyers shaded towards Stamkos, leaving an open lane for a pass to Johnson and a one-timer to the back of the net. 4-1 Lightning lead. Kucherov received the lone assist on the goal.

Nine seconds later with the power play continuing, the Lightning struck again. Hedman intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and passed the puck down to Kucherov. Kucherov found Stamkos coming down the slot with a pass. Stamkos looked shot, but then passed the puck to Point setup around the goal crease for the tap-in behind Pickard to put the Lightning up 5-1. The goal was assisted by Stamkos and Kucherov.

It didn’t take long for the temperature to ratchet up a bit higher. The Flyers were hot over the two penalties that were called against them and were yapping at the referees from the bench. Cernak didn’t help matters as he caught a Flyer in the face with an open glove while following through on a body check. The Flyers did not like it and came up to cross check him from behind with a scrum ensuing around the players. In the end, Cernak was called for high sticking (which it wasn’t, but it could have easily been roughing) and roughing (which he didn’t do anything during the scrum as he was down on the ice) while Voracek was called for roughing.

The referees gave the Flyers a power play and they capitalized pretty quickly with Travis Konecny roofing a puck from the high slot bar-down on Domingue to cut the Lightning’s lead to 5-2.

The heat continued into the next shift with Wayne Simmonds trying to go after Adam Erne and get him to fight. Erne was not interested and decided instead to play some hockey.

Domingue came up with a big save on Konecny at the door step with just under nine minutes left in the third period. However, Miller was called for hooking as he was trying to recover and defend against Konecny to send the Flyers back to the power play. 13 seconds in, the puck pinballed around following a faceoff. The puck bounced off of McDonagh’s skate and right to Couturier in front of the net who didn’t hesitate shooting and beat Domingue. 5-3 Lightning lead.

The Lightning continued to implode with just over four minutes left on the clock. Konecny drove the net and received a pass to the front of the goal. He tipped the puck on net and beat Domingue to cut the Lightning’s lead to 5-4.

The lead would not last for long. Domingue made the first save on a rush. Simmonds in front took a shot that went off Domingue’s pads and came to the side of the net. From his back, Simmonds was able to smack the puck up and over Domingue to tie the game up at 5-5.

The Lightning were kept a live just a shift later when Hedman lost the puck at the blue line that led a Flyers breakaway. Domingue made the save and then trapped the puck in his glove against the side of the net. Domingue had his glove slashed by two Flyers players, but the referees declined to call a penalty despite the NHL’s insistence that slashes to the hands and wrists should be strictly called. I guess it’s not when you’re a goalie.

The last couple minutes of the game continued with the excitement, but neither team was able to score and the game went to overtime with a 5-5 score. With a 5-1 score early in the third period, it looked like the Lightning were on their way to two points in a game they probably should not have been leading that big. Instead, they imploded down the stretch in the third period allowing the Flyers to tie it up. The team secured one point with an opportunity to add the second point in overtime or the shootout.

Overtime

The Lightning opened up the overtime period with Point, Gourde, and McDonagh. With two goals already in the game, Point was looking to become the first Lightning player to record hat tricks in back-to-back games. It wasn’t to be though.

Over the first few shifts of overtime, both teams traded chances with the Flyers getting a couple of heavy shots through that just went high of the net. The third shift for the Lightning saw Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli teamed up in front of Victor Hedman. Cirelli found himself down low with the puck. He was unable to pass the puck across the front of the net to Killorn on the other side for what would have been an easy tap in. He was forced into the corner. He curled back around towards the front of the net and shot the puck from low in the right wing circle. He shot it just under the bar to finish the game off 6-5 for the Lightning win. The goal was assisted by Killorn and Hedman.

Conclusions

The Lightning get out of Philadelphia with two points in a game they probably should not have even been in. Erne had a great game with a power play goal and added two assists to set a new career high for points in game with three. Early in the game, Louis Domingue was very good for the Lightning stopping all 18 shots in the first period when the Flyers were getting to the front of the net and getting quality chances on goal. The fourth line also generated two goals at even strength, though one of those goals was a Point goal when he replaced Paquette for a shift after Paquette was shaken up blocked a shot.

On the other side of the ledger, the Lightning gave up 45 shots on goal and a total of 75 shot attempts while only getting 26 shots on goal themselves and 56 shot attempts. They got themselves a 5-1 lead cashing in on some chances even though they weren’t dominating the game on the ice. They also took advantage of the Flyers getting into penalty trouble early in the third period to score two and stretch the lead to 5-1.

But then the Lightning got into their own penalty trouble and gave up two power play goals to the Flyers. Those two goals gave Philadelphia a lot of life and knocked the wind out of the Lightning’s sails leading to two more even strength goes for Philly to tie the game up. It’s hard to fault Domingue too much on the four goals given up in the third period as the Lightning were not playing well in front of him and he was victimized by a couple of lucky bounces that went the Flyers way. But you’d still have liked to see him come up with a couple more big saves to save the anxiety going down the stretch.

The Lightning move on to face the Nashville Predators on Monday and then return home on Wednesday to take on the Florida Panthers to open a five-game home stand.