The Lightning started this game out like any other; with quite a bang. The Bolts would notch the first tally of the game with an unassisted goal from center Alex Killorn at just 4:33 in the period.
The rest of this period served as what I would refer to as the calm before the storm.
The Lightning, who as most of you know have never been considered to be a “second period team” absolutely exploded in the second. We had yet to see a game this season with this kind of intense back and forth.
There was a total of 7 goals scored in the second frame; 3 from the Flyers and 4 from the Lightning.
At 5:21, right wing Teddy Purcell would give the Bolts the early lead in the second period; scoring his 9th goal of the season with the assists from center Valtteri Filppula and defenseman Matt Carle.
Of course, it wouldn’t be long before the Flyers would come charging back. Just over a minute later, Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek would score his first goal of the night with the assists of Flyers captain Claude Giroux.
In the spirit of competition, the Flyers just couldn’t let this stand. While Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell (who was serving the second minor of Bugsy) sat in the box for 2 minutes for Roughing, Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds was able to capitalize on the man advantage and bring it to a one goal game.
The Flyers wouldn’t stop there. Voracek would net his second goal of the night with the assist from former Lightning defenseman Andrej Meszaros, putting the Flyers back in the game, and tying the score at 3.
They stay that all it takes it one single spark to start a wildfire, and that is exactly what happened next for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Less than a minute after the goal from Voracek, Lightning center Valtteri Filppula would score his second point of the night with a backhand shot. The assists on the Filppula goal went to Killorn and right wing Teddy Purcell.
In the final minutes of the second frame, it would be the captain, Martin St. Louis, who would fire off a snap shot that would find the back of the net. The assists on the play would go to center Tyler Johnson and defenseman Radko Gudas.
The proverbial nail in the Flyers coffin came in the final moments of the third period. Ryan Malone would score his second goal of the night with a goal on the Flyers empty net with the assist from Crombeen and Carle.
Ultimately, the Tampa Bay Lightning would defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3.
Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback had a pretty stellar night. He was able to stop 35 of 38 Shots giving him a Save Percentage of .921 for the night. This is one of his best performances of the season.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, goaltender Steve Mason was not quite as lucky. While Ray Emery was able to stop all 7 shots that were brought against him, Mason only had the stop on 12 of 17 shots brought against him, giving him a Save Percentage of .706.
Ten different Bolts found their way onto the scoreboard tonight; 6 of those with multiple points.
When these two teams come together, it is always a rough and tumble game. There are quite a few former Bolts on the team. Like I mentioned before they have former Lightning defenseman Andrej Meszaros, right wings Adam Hall and Steve Downie, and last but certainly not least, former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier.
These are people who are familiar with the Lightning’s system, and the ones who are more likely to know how to react to the team.
However, there is something special that is driving the Bolts this season. When the Lightning lost center Steven Stamkos on November 11th against the Boston Bruins, some assumed that the Lightning were done for the season. The Bolts have gone above and beyond to show that this team is not a one trick pony.
We have plenty of talent on the team that can showcase their talents. While your usual suspects like St. Louis and Filppula have been shining; it is the Lightning rookies who have really been stepping up to the plate. So far this season, the Lightning rookies account for a total of 99 points so far this season. This puts the Bolts rookies ahead of the league in points.
The Bolts also have 9 players that are above the 20 point mark this season, and two that are above the 30 goal mark. This proves that not only are the Bolts a very valid contender for the post season, we have a whole team effort. This is unlike any combination we have had in a good number of years.
As of right now, the Lightning’s 58 points not only puts them at 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, but it puts them just 2 points behind Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins for control of the Atlantic Division.
If the Lightning keeps playing at the same rate they are right now, there will be nothing to hold us back from continuing to play well into April.
Three Stars of the Game:
What did you think of the Lightning’s performance against the Flyers? What do you think they can take away from this game that will help them against Columbus on Monday? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.