One Game on the Road: Previewing the Lightning vs Flyers

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, where they will travel to Philadelphia then head back to Tampa to play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Flyers, who are currently sitting on a 7-4-2 record, are fifth in the Metropolitan Division.

The Flyers, whose team is built up of speedy offense and gritty defense, will clash well with the Lightning’s slower but more aggressive style of play on offense, and more offensive minded plays on defense.

The Flyers this offseason added some new talent, trading away star forward Jakub Voracek for Columbus Blue Jackets long-time star forward Cam Atkinson in a one for one trade. The Flyers also added Ryan Ellis and Keith Yandle to their blue-line, creating a strong, physical defense that meshes well with the speedy offense.

Top Players

Starting with the Lightning, the top three players have yet to change, but multiple players are looking to take over Victor Hedman in points for that third spot, including Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli. Instead of basing the top three players off of points (Lightning only), the top three players are based on recent individual and team play.

Anthony Cirelli: Cirelli has been very strong over these last few games, especially against the New York Islanders on Monday night. Not only is he a possible future Selke Trophy winner, he’s also played a more physical game, leading to strong defensive plays whenever he gets the chance.

Mikhail Sergachev: Sergachev has been an underrated defenseman for years, and every year he improves his all around game. While he has played more on the edge this season than ever before, Sergachev is a top depth defenseman in the league, and is easily one of the most underrated defenseman.

Mathieu Joseph: Too many people shrug off any thoughts of Joseph, assuming he’s not a great player based solely on points. While not tallying up as many points as others, Joseph has one of the best depth performances by any top/bottom 6 player in the league, and watching just one period of his play is enough to prove that.

The offense for the Lightning has been phenomenal, putting up tons of points and is still strong despite the loss of Nikita Kucherov to injury. Steven Stamkos is playing an amazing game, putting his name out there for the Hart Trophy, Alex Killorn is having a career year, and Brayden Point is looking like his usual self again.

The defense has been much better than early in the season. Everything fans complained about is nearly gone, with the Lightning barely allowing any shots on net now, and limiting opponents to less than three goals a game..

Now for the Flyers, who have a great mix of offense and defense on their team who deserve recognition. These are the top players by points, not by individual or team skill like with the Lightning.

Sean Couturier: 5G 8A 13P
Claude Giroux: 5G 7A 12P
Cam Atkinson: 7G 2A 9P

The offense for the Flyers has been outstanding, putting up many points and giving the Flyers some of the most entertaining games so far this season. Atkinson in the lineup has helped them become a serious playoff contender, even with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers looking like improved teams this year.

The defense has been nothing to complain about, except for a few simple things. Bringing Ellis and Yandle has helped to bring a more offensive component to their defense group.

The goaltending on both teams is great. For the Lightning, Andrei Vasilevskiy (2.20GAA, .924 sv%) will be in the Tampa Bay crease. Carter Hart (2.19GAA, .931sv%) should also be expected in the pipes on Monday, as he has had a great season so far.


Score: 2-0 Lightning
Shots: 22 Lightning/28 Flyers

Top Performer: Andrei Vasilevskiy (0.00 GAA, 1.00 save %)
Overall Performance: B-


The Lightning have been the better team so far this season, and with back to back games coming up, it’s hard to figure out all that’s going on. This should be a close game serving as yet another measuring stick opportunity for the Lightning early in the season.

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