The first period started with a penalty kill for the Lightning after Mitchell Stephens was called for holding early in the game. The Flyers didn’t have a lot of chances on the power play and on top of that, Vasilevskiy made a couple of good saves. Mikhail Sergachev, who appeared on the penalty kill unit in place of Ryan McDonagh, blocked a shot by Matt Niskanen.
As the game continued, the Lightning still struggled with getting into the Flyers zone. Alex Volkov drew the first penalty for the Lightning. They controlled the puck but couldn’t get it into the net. However, they did have two good chances .
In his first period after returning to the Lightning, Alex Volkov was pretty noticeable, despite playing just around two minutes. Besides drawing a penalty, he had two shots attempts, although he wasn’t very successful with protecting and battling for the puck.
With six minutes to go, Travis Konecny was sent to the penalty box after high-sticking Victor Hedman and the Lightning went on a four-minute power play. The Flyers did a great job blocking the Lightning shots and almost scored a shorthanded goal on a Michael Raffl shot. For the Lightning, the most dangerous chance came when Brayden Point cruised past the Flyers defense, but his backhand shot was deflected off the post.
Carter Verhaeghe had a great breakaway opportunity in the first half of the second period, but couldn’t handle the bouncing puck. From that moment, the Lightning put pressure on the Flyers net, with Nikita Kucherov and Mitchell Stephens having a couple shot attempts. The Stephens line was the best line during that period. They constantly created chances on the Flyers end, but couldn’t quite capitalize on them. Yanni Gourde was annoyingly active in front of the Flyers net for the whole period and got into two small scrums with Scott Laughton and then Mark Friedman.
The only goal scored during this period came from a very unexpected play. Pat Maroon won the air battle for the puck against Matt Niskanen and sent it into Carter Hart’s net. Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak were given assists on that goal after ending of period.
The Flyers were locked down in their own defensive zone for most of the second period. The Lightning outshot them 25-8. The Philadelphia players showed a very self-sacrificing effort, blocking 19 shots through the first two periods.
The Lightning took a small step back, as the Flyers were trying to tie the game. Andrei Vasilevsky kept the lead for the Bolts after stopping a Travis Sanheim shot early in that period. Despite not having a big workload during the previous period, Vasilevskiy stayed concentrated for the last part of the game and made a couple of very important saves for his team.
Pat Maroon was hooked by Kevin Hayes and hit the boards. After that moment, he stayed on the bench and didn’t return to the game. That’s the second time in two games he’s had to leave early.
That moment led to the another power play opportunity for the Bolts. The Flyers continued to block almost every shot and one of the best power play units in the league couldn’t do anything with it.
The Flyers kept pressure before the end of the game, but the Lightning were good at limiting their chances and even pulling the goalie couldn’t save the Flyers from losing the game.
Final numbers. That's back to back shutouts for Vasy behind back to back dominant defensive performances. 2.23 xG allowed TOTAL in the last two games by the Lightning. That's pretty outrageous. pic.twitter.com/UHG4d57Wyl— Replacement Level Analyst (@loserpoints) January 12, 2020
The numbers speak for themselves. The Lightning allowed just 0.93 xG at 5v5 during this game, playing very solid defensively and helping Vasy to post his second consecutive shutout. The Mitchell Stephens line was one of the best, controlling 71.43% of shots and creating 0.32 xG at 5v5.
Given the pretty good Philadelphia Flyers record at home, it’s a very good result for the Lightning. They extended the winning streak to 10 games, tying the franchise record from the last February. The second consecutive shutout should also help Vasilevskiy to get back his confidence. The defense helped him a lot during these twi games and he also didn’t let them down, not making any mistakes. If he keeps playing like this until the end of the season, that would be a big help for the Lightning.
No information on Pat Maroon’s status has been released yet, so Alex Volkov might get another chance tomorrow.