Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning beats Flyers in Lecavalier's return

TAMPA — So, there was Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman parked in front of the Flyers' net on a five-on-three power play.

Hedman always has shown an offensive sensibility, but that positioning, something Tampa Bay hadn't used before, was an eye-opener.

And it was effective. Hedman scored his career-best sixth goal, and the winner, in Tampa Bay's 4-2 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday in front of an announced crowd of 18,427 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"I like it," Hedman said. "I tried to do what you don't want the forward to do. It's fun to contribute on both ends of the ice."

Hedman had a monster game, with two goals and an assist on Ondrej Palat's shorthanded tally on which he led a two-on-one the length of the ice.

"He had jump," coach Jon Cooper said. "He was engaged. And when he's like that, he puts himself in the upper echelon of defensemen."

Anders Lindback made 19 saves for Tampa Bay (16-8-1), which had a 34-21 shot advantage and won its seventh straight game at home, one off the team record.

Lindback had a turning-point moment in the first period when he stopped Wayne Simmonds' penalty shot with a terrific right-leg save on a backhand try to preserve a 0-0 score. "I just read him right," Lindback said. "He didn't elevate the puck, so I was able to get my pad behind it."

The game got a little more interesting than Tampa Bay would have liked. Vinny Lecavalier scored on a power play with 1:53 left to make the score 3-1. Mark Streit scored 40 seconds later to make it 3-2.

Tyler Johnson's empty-net goal stopped the bleeding.

Cooper said it was unfortunate the team had to sweat out the win but was happy with the overall effort.

The Flyers could not match the Lightning's speed or overcome a tight defensive effort that featured plenty of backchecking through the neutral zone.

It is just the kind of game Cooper wants at home, where Tampa Bay is 10-2-0.

"We don't want teams coming down here and it's vacation time, which it's been like that in the past," Cooper said.

There was no vacation for Hedman, who scored from a sharp angle in the second period for a 1-0 lead and whose snap shot was stopped by goalie Ray Emery but pounced on by Palat for a 2-0 lead.

Hedman made it 3-0 in the third when he swept in a rebound of Teddy Purcell's shot.

"I wasn't expecting he was the one who was going to score the goal," said Cooper, who put Hedman in the slot to act as more of a screen, "but his big reach and everything just worked for him. Right spot, right time."

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Flyers0022
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FirstNone. PenaltiesVoracek, Phi (hooking), 5:04.

Second1, TB, Hedman 5 (Thompson, Johnson), 9:15. 2, TB, Palat 4 (Hedman, Sustr), 12:16 (sh). PenaltiesHartnell, Phi, major (fighting), 6:00; Brewer, TB, major (fighting), 6:00; Killorn, TB (hooking), 10:55; Coburn, Phi (high-sticking), 14:28.

Third3, TB, Hedman 6 (Purcell, Filppula), 5:00 (pp). 4, Phila, Lecavalier 9 (B.Schenn, Streit), 18:07 (pp). 5, Phila, Streit 1 (Giroux), 18:47. 6, TB, Johnson 6, 19:26 (en). PenaltiesHartnell, Phi (slashing), 3:13; Grossmann, Phi (boarding), 3:43; Downie, Phi (slashing), 14:03; Aulie, TB (roughing), 14:03; Hedman, TB (slashing), 16:36; Downie, Phi (charging), 19:42; Simmonds, Phi, misconduct, 19:42; Crombeen, TB (roughing), 19:42. Missed Penalty ShotSimmonds, Phi, 16:46 first. Shots on GoalPhila 7-5-9—21. TB 14-11-10—35. Power-play opportunitiesPhila 1 of 2; TB 1 of 4. GoaliesPhila, Emery 3-4-0 (34 shots-31 saves). TB, Lindback 2-5-0 (21-19). A18,427 (19,204).

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