NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, March 2nd)
Final Score: Philadelphia 7, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Mike Richards posted a goal and three assists as Philadelphia used a five-goal third period to ground Tampa Bay, 7-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Claude Giroux had two goals and one helper, and Simon Gagne added a goal and two assists for the Flyers, who had hit the Olympic break with four consecutive victories.
Michael Leighton stopped 36-of-38 shots to earn his 14th win of the season.
"We were sloppy in the execution on defense in the first period, let them get away with too much in the zone, but tried to force things that way," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "That in turn led to more offense in the second period, then in the third we just kept pushing and played more opportunistic offensively."
Steven Stamkos recorded both goals for the Lightning, who had dropped three in a row before the break.
Starter Antero Niittymaki was lit up for six goals on 31 shots in the loss. Mike Smith finished the game by yielding a goal on three shots.
The Flyers forged ahead thanks to a pair of power-play goals early in the third.
On the first, Richards had a defender draped all over him but slipped a pass to Gagne for an easy tap-in at the 17-second mark and a 3-2 edge. Giroux then tipped home a Gagne wrister off another Richards dish for a two-goal lead at 4:34.
James van Riemsdyk converted a Giroux pass at 9:27 for a 5-2 game, then Giroux chased Niittymaki from the net when he slipped the puck between two defenders and tipped a shot in at 11:31 for a 6-2 contest.
Jeff Carter then beat Smith on a short-handed breakaway with 5:33 remaining to cap the scoring.
Philadelphia got on the board with 9:26 left in the first period, when Richards' shot deflected off a skate and past Niitymaki. Tampa countered four minutes later as Stamkos ripped a shot home from the slot.
Stamkos' stuffer in the crease off a dish from Steve Downie put the Bolts ahead 2:26 into the second, but Dan Carcillo picked up the puck from a Richards faceoff win and tucked a shot under the fallen Tampa netminder at 4:58.
"Hockey is a game of mistakes," said Lightning forward Martin St. Louis. "We had them at 2-1 in the second period, then it's the ones you make a few times in a row that make the difference."
The Flyers swept all four games from the Lightning for the first time since going 4-0-0 against the Bolts during the lockout-shortened 1995 season...Philadelphia matched a franchise single-game high for goals against Tampa Bay, first set in a 7-1 win on October 21, 1997...Prior to the game, the Flyers announced that goaltender Ray Emery will have season-ending surgery to repair damage to his right hip. Emery, who had not played since February 1, finished the season with a 16-11-1 record, 2.64 GAA and three shutouts.
03/02 23:48:46 ET