Stamkos Scores Twice as Bolts Strike Flyers
Steven Stamkos is one of the NHL’s most prolific offensive players. So, when the forward gets open looks in front of the net the Lightning are tough to beat. The Flyers found out the hard way on Tuesday night in a 5-1 defeat.
With two goals tonight Stamkos tied the Rangers’ Marion Gaborik with 22 goals for the season and the lead for the top goal scorer in the league.
Stamkos’ first goal came 8:30 into the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie. Stamkos took the rebound from a Ryan Malone shot and put a backhand shot past Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov let in five goals on only 16 shots. The theme throughout the game was missed Flyer opportunities that turned into Lightning goals. Usually when a team dominates on shots, possessions, and scoring opportunities they find themselves on the celebratory side of a blowout.
The Lightning extended their lead with 8:19 left in the second period. Steve Downie possessed a rebound on the left side of the crease and was able to score despite having a limited angle due to his body’s momentum, which was leading him behind the goal.
The Flyers were unable to mimic Downie’s precision and control. The Flyers were scoreless on four power plays and were unable to find success against Matthew Garon who finished the game with 31 saves on 32 shots. The Lightning was able to pack the front of crease forcing the Flyers to take low percentage shots from the outside.
Philadelphia's frustration showed when Maxime Talbot received a two-minute penalty for boarding which culminated into a four-minute power play for the Lightning when he disputed the call and was awarded another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty occurred with 4:15 left in the second period causing the Flyers to be a man down for the final portion of the second period.
Stamkos took advantage of the power play when he scored with 1:15 left in the period. Downey, positioned on the right side of the crease, received a pass from Martin St. Louis. The pass from St. Louis resulted on a two-on-one with Downey on the right and Stamkos on the left side of the crease. Jakub Voracek, the lone Flyer, overplayed Downey leaving Stamkos wide open.
Stamkos’ second goal of the night seemed to seal the game. The Flyers came out of the third period aggressive and poised to make a comeback. There was a four minute flurry during the middle of the third stanza where it seemed every Flyer had an opportunity to score.
The puck seldom left the Lightning defensive zone and when it did it allowed the Flyers to come down the ice with even more force than before. Jaromir Jagr hit the post, Matt Read missed the net, and Garon used every inch of his body to prevent the scoreboard from changing.
Scott Hartnell scored the only goal for the Flyers while Claude Giroux and Jagr were accredited with the assists. The only highlight for the Flyers was when Wayne Simmonds knocked out Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer with a couple of well-placed punches during a fight in the second period.
Unfortunately, the Flyers shots weren’t as accurate as Simmonds fists.