Flyers Win 4-3 in Shootout Against the Lightning

By on February 16, 2011

By: Dave Jarvis (RSE Hockey Correspondent)

Tampa, Fl. – (RSE) Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman referred to the games this week with Philadelphia and Detroit as measuring sticks to see where his hockey club is in the pecking order of the NHL.  Well, after the first game on Tuesday evening at The St. Pete Times Forum, the Lightning GM has to be very pleased with his team’s resiliency, as his team battled back from a 3-1 deficit against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers. 

Through all of regulation and 5 minutes of overtime, the Lightning and Flyers finished in a 3-3 deadlock. It took a piece of nifty skill in the shootout to finally declare a victor, as the Flyers skated out of Tampa with a 4-3 victory before an entertained crowd of 16,950. 

The playoff atmosphere at the rink was palpable as both teams acknowledged before the game that they had prepared for the game as if it was a postseason battle. Every shift was played in tight-checking fashion as a result and the squads went back and forth all game long in an attempt to impose their will upon each other.

The impressive part of the game was how well the Bolts battled with the big, physical Flyers.

After the game, Lightning Coach Guy Boucher assessed his team by boasting: “I am very proud of my team tonight. I could not be disappointed in any part of the game tonight. We battled a very talented team through the team portion of the game. During the playoffs you will have to beat a team 5 on 5.”

Tampa took the play to Philadelphia early – outshooting the Flyers 10-3. That didn’t matter, however, to Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk, who got up off the ice after his fight with Bolts defensiveman Randy Jones and scored his 13th goal of the season.  The Flyer forward was assisted on the play from Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter to give Philly an early 1-0 lead at the 12:42 mark of the first period.

The Bolts’ Dominic Moore (a Rocket Sports & Entertainment favorite) answered the Flyer goal 59 seconds into the second period as he launched a shot which deflected off a Philadelphia defensiveman for his 10th goal of the season. Adam Hall was credited with an assist on the play. The goal started a furious period of play packed with a cross-section of everything die-hard hockey fans pay good money to see.

The Flyers responded with a power play goal at 7:33 of the second from Scott Hartnell, who scored on a textbook deflection in front of Bolts goalie Dwayne Roloson for a 2-1 lead. 

The Lightning then went on a power play of their own later in the second period and seemed poised to even the score in the seesaw battle. However, Bolts defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron made a sloppy play in the offensive zone which led to a breakaway for Flyers center Darroll Powe, who was hooked down from behind by Steven Stamkos. The play resulted in a penalty shot for Powe, who beat Roloson to extend the lead to 3-1 at the 8:48 mark.

Lightning captain Vinnie Lecavalier returned fire by scoring one of the team’s biggest goals thus far on the season – a power play tally which cut the Philly lead to 3-2 at 9:55 of the second. Coach Boucher referred to Lecavalier as a “machine” during the past month and the clutch goal validated his assessment.

Later in the second, Teddy Purcell capped off the Lightning comeback with a blistering shot past Flyer goalie Brian Boucher to tie the score at 3 at the 10:48 mark. 

The teams played it pretty safe in the third period – not wanting to give up two full points to one of their primary rivals for playoff positioning.

In a tough finish to the game for the Bolts, Flyer Kimmo Timonen beat Roloson in aforementioned brilliant fashion to give the Flyers the second point by shootout victory and extend their points lead in the Eastern Conference.

It was an outcome which neither team could really lament as Philly needed the 2 points but the Bolts clinched a 3-0-1 season series win against their rivals, which they would have gladly accepted at the season’s inception.

The fun kicks back up again as the Detroit Red Wings come to the St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday night at 7:30 for the most anticipated game of the year. The Wings are not only GM Steve Yzerman’s former team but are also the organization which Coach Boucher calls the standard for success in the NHL.

Remember to listen to the Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network radio show on Tampa Bay’s ESPN 1040 AM from 10 AM to Noon every Saturday for details; or visit the website at rocketsports-ent.com.

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