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Tampa Bay Lightning players stretch during warmups. Credit: Lauren Burg

Lightning beat adversity, Flyers!!

In a game that was played half the time with four defenseman, and a forward serving as a defenseman, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat one of the East’s top three teams, the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1 Tuesday night.
The Flyers dominated the first period, outshooting the Lightning 17-4, but the Lightning survived with the score tied, thanks to numerous brilliant stops by goaltender Mathieu Garon. The Lightning’s goal came from defenseman Bruno Gervais midway through and the Flyers tied things late when a Claude Giroux shot rebound came out to Scott Hartnell, who wasted no time putting it past Garon.
In the second period the Lightning controlled play more, outshooting the Flyers and pressuring them constantly. Steven Stamkos scored one of his two goals on the night, both on the power play, to make the score 2-1 Lightning.
The Flyers then decided to get physical, with Wayne Simmonds fighting defenseman Eric Brewer midway through the period. Brewer left the game for the rest of the second period, apparently injured, but turned out to be alright, as he returned to play the 3rd period. Victor Hedman had already left early in period 1 with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Hartnell then got too close to the Lightning bench during a line change, drawing the ire of Lightning players. Ryan Malone and Hartnell got into a skirmish and were each assessed 10 minute misconducts.
After all this occurred the Lightning settled down and got another goal, this one a rebound shot scored by Steve Downie past Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Finally, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos was left alone in front of the net, on the power play, and he made sure not to miss, scoring his 22nd goal of the season, tying him with the New York Rangers Marion Gaborik for the goal-scoring lead, and also extending the Lightning lead to 4-1.
In the third period Brewer came back and, though the Lightning played cautiously, icing the puck numerous times, Garon made huge saves. Late in the period Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier embarked on a 2-on-1. Marty passed to Vinny in front of the Flyers net and Bryzgalov could do nothing but watch as Vinny roofed the puck top-shelf, and past him, for a 5-1 Lightning lead.
The Lightning next face the Montreal Canadiens, Thursday night, 7:30pm at the St. Pete Times Forum, soon to be the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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Tags: Ilya Bryzgalov Mathieu Garon Philadelphia Flyers Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning

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