NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Philadelphia
(Saturday, January 9th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Tampa Bay 1
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Michael Leighton stopped 17 shots as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, at Wachovia Center.
Blair Betts scored twice while Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell each had a goal for the Flyers, who have won three straight. Simon Gagne had an assist to reach 500 points in his career.
"I don't think it was our best game of this little stretch," said Philadelphia's Chris Pronger. "There were moments when we were real lackadaisical, but we picked things up during the latter part of the second. The third period saw good chances and we were able to capitalize on some of them."
Martin St. Louis had the lone goal while Antero Niittymaki stopped 27-of-30 shots in the loss for the Lightning, who have dropped three of four.
"They outshot us pretty good," said Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. "They outplayed us for most of the game. I felt we were chasing the puck too much. Our goaltending have really stepped up for us, we have to find a way to reward them."
The Flyers got the only goal of the first period and they did so on the power play. Gagne cycled the puck down low to Mike Richards, who sent a pass from the low right boards to the inside right circle where Giroux one-timed it home at the 13:01 mark.
Leighton needed to stop just five shots in the first period to keep Tampa off the board.
Neither side lit the lamp in the middle stanza as Niittymaki turned aside eight shots while Leighton stopped seven at the other end to keep Tampa Bay scoreless.
Philly gave itself an insurance goal 3:36 into the third period. Pronger chipped the puck out of the Flyers end, and Danny Briere caught up to it in the neutral zone on a 2-on-1 break. Flying into the Tampa end, Briere chipped the puck over from the right circle to the front where Hartnell tapped it in.
The goal proved fortunate as Tampa Bay made it a one-score game with 6:55 to play in the game. Steve Downie had the puck along the right boards and it bounced out to Stamkos, who whacked it over to the left side where St. Louis slapped it home.
However, the Flyers got the goal back with a 4-on-4 tally. Braydon Coburn blasted a shot on net from the right circle that was blocked by a Tampa player in front. The rebound went back to the slot where Ian Laperriere's slapper was blocked by Niittymaki, but the rebound sat at the left side and Betts slid it home with 3:05 to play.
Betts sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final moments of the game.
On Sunday, Tampa will resume its contest with New Jersey that was suspended on Friday due to a lighting failure at the Prudential Center. The game will resume with 9:12 to play in the second period with Tampa holding a 3-0 lead...Philly hosts Dallas on Tuesday...The Flyers have won four straight against Tampa Bay, including all three meetings this season.
01/09 23:05:40 ET