The Tampa Bay Lightning took home two points in a comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. After giving up two goals early, the Bolts came back with two of their own in the third with Brayden Point and Mathieu Joseph getting the goals. With two minutes left in the tied game, Steven Stamkos scored from an impossible angle on Carter Hart, giving the Lightning the lead. Unfortunately, Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored his second of the game with eight seconds left in the game, taking the game to overtime. After a heart-stopping five minutes, the Lightning put the Flyers away in the shootout with identical goals from Stamkos and Point.
Stamkos, Alex Killorn, and Victor Hedman all finished the game with two points, with Andrei Vasilevskiy stopping 27 of 30 for the win. His counterpart Hart stopped 29 of 32 in the loss.
The Lightning were the better team for the majority of the game, notching up a solid shots advantage through two periods. Unfortunately the Flyers came back in the third to make it a much closer affair than the first half. It was a tight game, and the fifth one-goal game between the Flyers and Lightning in the last few seasons.
Well, that wasn’t a good start. After all three Lightning forwards tripped over each other in the neutral zone, Claude Giroux split a lethargic Cal Foote and Mikhail Sergachev before dangling the puck past Vasilevskiy for the game’s opening goal less than two minutes into the game.
After falling down a goal, the Lightning quickly applied offensive pressure on the Flyers, but that left some holes going the other way. Hedman was stuck back trying to defend a 2-on-1 after a missed pass from Stamkos. Hedman tried to attack the puck carrier, but it got through to Justin Braun. Luckily the defenseman was stopped by Vasilevskiy point-blank.
Cal Foote blew a tire (ironic) at the offensive blue line and without any support, Travis Konecny came down the wing and shot the puck past Vasilevskiy for the Flyers’ second goal of the game.
The Lightning led the way in shot share 24-10, and they needed to because they gave away two breaks that leaded to goals. The Lightning were doing all the right things, but they were able to because they were down and the rule of score effects result in the leading team taking their foot off the gas and not needing to take as many risks offensively.
Foote and Sergachev did not have a good period at all. Sergachev was lethargic on the puck and Foote was downright slow and not up to the pace of play. They looked lost together, I hope that pairing doesn’t last long. One or both of the 23-year-olds (Foote is a month from that birthday) need a babysitter right now. And unfortunately with Cernak out, the Lightning don’t exactly have the luxury of having defenders who can carry their partners to spare.
Brayden Point! With Braun in the box for tripping Boris Katchouk, the Lightning brought themselves back into the game with a power play goal from Point. It wasn’t a particularly flashy passing play, but the Lightning worked hard, won puck battles in the middle of the ice, and Point’s rebound chance eventually went in.
Matt and I talked about the Bolts power play with Joe Smith on our podcast, Charged Up, this week and we discussed how the Lightning’s power play hasn’t struggled for a lack of trying. There’s a bit of de-sync, but they can make it click sometimes. This goal was the result of some real hard work.
Despite the full face shield, Cirelli was still getting knocked around in this game. As he was coming into the offensive zone, he got run into by JVR, and then Rutta knocked him down from behind. Poor guy was shaken up a bit but went to the bench and seemed fine after that.
Katchouk fed Ross Colton in the slot for a really tight breakaway. Colton deked left, then right before reaching to try and get the puck around Hart, but Hart stuck his leg out in time. Colton had family and friends at the game being from New Jersey, and this would’ve been a great hello to them.
Mo Jo ties the game! Alex Killorn got the puck at the half boards and got himself some spce by skating up to the point in order to throw the puck on net. Mathieu Joseph snuck his way past Braun (who’s been popular in my recap so far) and tucked the puck into the far side to tie the game.
Point was great in the period, getting four shots at 5v5 in the second period alone, for a team-leading seven shots in all situations (five scoring chances). Colton wasn’t far behind with six shot attempts, leading the way in expected goals with his in-tight chance. The Lightning as a whole kept up their dominance on the ice, staying ahead with over 60% of the shot attempts. The difference from the first to the second was that the Lightning finally got a couple well-deserved goals.
Naturally, after getting all the power plays in the game, the Flyers got two with Joseph going for hooking and then Maroon with a delay of game call for shooting the puck over the glass. Not exactly controversial calls, but that’s how things go. The Lightning did a great job killing both calls off, despite heavy pressure from the Flyers.
Those calls and some good defense from the Bolts got the Lightning through the first half of the period before Vasy had to make some really good saves, namely a 2-on-1 shot from Ivan Provorov. Going the other way, Colton was stoned again by Hart’s left pad after diving to the front of the net from the corner with the puck.
Oh my god! Stamkos scores from the corner! With less than two minutes left in the game, Stamkos won the faceoff and drifted towards the left corner of the offensive zone. From what I can see, it looks like Stamkos found a little patch of space between Hart’s right pad and the ice, right in that little triangular space where the face of the pad and the foot pad meet.
The Flyers pulled the goalie immediately and it was Colton with a huge diving shot block in the final minute to potentially save a goal. With 28 seconds left, the Lightning iced the puck where Cirelli blocked a point shot with his stick, breaking it. The next shot was smothered by Vasilevskiy with 10 seconds left. And then off that faceoff, that’s when Giroux scored.
Giroux got his second of the game to tie it with eight seconds left in regulation. There were five guys between Giroux’s shot and Vasilevskiy, so the goalie never picked it up.
The Lightning only had three shots on goal in the third period. Luckily for them one was a go-ahead goal, but unfortunately, the Flyers had a lot of momentum and took advantage of all their chances late in the game.
So those five minutes went by so fast I couldn’t keep up with even just sitting on my couch with a laptop. From what I can tell, Vasilevskiy and Hart made huge saves on the following guys (and probably more): Hedman on a breakaway, Laughton on a 2-on-1, Stamkos on a breakaway, and Atkinson on a breakaway.
One of the reasons why the overtime went so quick was because Vasilevskiy and Hart just kept throwing the puck into the corner instead of covering it up.
- Couturier - stopped! Ran out of space on a five-hole dangle.
- Stamkos - scores! A huge shot across the face of the net right to left.
- Giroux - stopped! Lost the puck on a dangle.
- Point - WINS THE GAME! An identical shot to Stammer’s.