Lightning Extend Home Win Streak To 7, Defeat Flyers 4-2
The Tampa Bay Lightning (16-8-1) defeated the Philadelphia Flyers (10-12-2) by a final score of 4-2. The evening was a celebration of sorts as Vincent Lecavalier  returned to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the first time since signing with the Flyers after 14 seasons with the Lightning.
Although Lacavalier did deliver a goal for the Flyers it was Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman  who stole the show with two goals and an assist en route to earning the first star of the evening.
The victory extends the Lightnings home win streak to seven in a row and they improve to 10-2-0 at home on the season.
The game was scoreless in the first period when Teddy Purcell  lost the puck in the Flyers zone and it squirted free to Wayne Simmonds  who raced down the ice toward Lightning goalie Anders Lindback .
Victor Hedman  raced back to disrupt his shot but was called for hooking and Simmons was awarded a penalty shot.
Lindback was up to the task and turned Simmonds shot away with a right pad save. “There are turning points in the game and it was an early one”” coach Cooper said, “but if we go down, Simmons scores that – who knows how this game kind of transpires.”
The Lightning outshot the Flyers 14-7 in the first period and were pressuring the Flyers but the game remained scoreless. The Lightning finally broke through at the 9:15 mark of the second period when Victor Hedmand found the back of the net for the 5th time this season. He was assisted by Nate Thompson  (3) and Tyler Johnson  (7).
Less than two minutes after getting the go ahead goal the Flyers went on the power play as Alex Killorn  was called for hooking against Vincent Lecavalier . The Lightning penalty kill unit not only snuffed out the Flyers power play but they netted a short handed goal. Andrej Sustr  blocked a shot in the Lightning defensive zone and the puck ended up on the stick of Victor Hedman who raced down ice and blasted a shot of Flyers goalie Ray Emery . Ondrej Palat  who was trailing on the play powered the rebound into the net for his fourth goal of the season. The assist went to Victor Hedman (9) and Andrej Sustr  (6). After two periods of play the Lightning had registered 25 shots while holding the Flyers to a mere 12 and held a 2-0 lead.
At the 3:13 mark of the third period the Lightning went on the power play when Scott Harnell was called for slashing Hedman and 30-seconds after that Nicklas Grossman was sent off for boarding against Valtteri Filppula  which gave the Lightning a 5-3 advantage. Victor Hedman was put into the high slot on the power play unit and scored his second goal of the game and sixth of the season with assist to Teddy Purcell  (9) and Valtteri Filppula  (10). It’s not a spot that we are accustomed to seeing Hedman fill but after the game Jon Cooper explained that “it’s really hard for a goaltender to see around him, he’s got reach, and obviously it paid off in the end but I wasn’t expecting him to be the one who scored.”
The game was winding down and the Lightning seemed to be on their way to a shutout victory but with 1:53 left Vincent Lecavalier scored a power play goas with assist to Brayden Schenn  (8) and Mark Streit  (8). The Flyers continued to play with the extra attacker and 40-seconds after Lecavalier found the back of the net Mark Streit  laced a slapshot (assit to Claud Giroux ) to cut the Lightning lead to 3-2.
Still trailing by a goal and time running out the Flyers were forced to continue to press their luck with the sixth attacker and with 34-seconds to go in the game Tyler Johnson  delivered the dagger sending a slapshot into the empty net for his sixth goal on the season.