TAMPA — One thing Lightning coach Guy Boucher said about his players, even while the team has slid in the standings:
"Our players never quit. They've got character and they're still fighting."
And they won for the second straight game, 4-2 over the Flyers Monday night, in front of a sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Teddy Purcell's sixth goal of the season 9:25 into the third period broke a 2-2 tie. The right wing got a stick on Keith Aulie's point shot and deflected it down past Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
The bad news for Tampa Bay (13-15-1), were injuries to defenseman Victor Hedman and Ryan Malone.
Hedman was lost in the second period for undisclosed reasons. Malone was knocked out of the game in the third by a head shot from Philadelphia pest Zac Rinaldo. There was no penalty.
Ondrej Palat and Tom Pyatt scored for the Lightning, which has won three of four games, and Steven Stamkos' empty-netter was the 200th goal of his career.
Anders Lindback had 28 saves and Malone had eight hits and four shots on goal before he was hurt 7:05 into the third.
The Lightning took a 1-0 lead 6:38 into the first period on Palat's second goal in as many games.
Palat sneaked the puck under Bryzgalov after he broke to the net and took a perfect backhand saucer pass from Dana Tyrell.
The Flyers tied the score at 1. Max Talbot, carrying the puck against Marty St. Louis, swept from left wing into the slot and got a backhand shot past Lindback. St. Louis was the last line of defense because he was covering for defenseman Radko Gudas, whose decision to pinch into the Philadelphia zone in pursuit of a puck proved costly.
Tampa Bay regained the lead with 2:57 left on Pyatt's re-direct of Tyler Johnson's pass. Pyatt beat a Flyers defender to the goal, but Johnson's pass from the right wing boards was perfect after he fought off a check to gain the puck.
Lindback made several key stops — he also got lucky as the Flyers hit two posts — including a tremendous right foot save on a Scott Hartnell deflection in front of the net.
Lindback picked up where he left off with a left-leg save on Luke Schenn 3:43 into the period, and a great glove save on Claude Giroux through traffic at 7:37.
But he had little chance on Giroux's wicked wrist shot from the slot with 4:39 left. It was an unfortunate play for Tampa Bay's Cory Conacher, who hustled back into the defensive zone to intercept a pass, then gave the puck away to Giroux as his clearing attempt slipped off his stick.
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Palat 2 (Tyrell, Salo), 6:38. 2, Philadelphia, Talbot 4 (Meszaros), 13:55. 3, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 6 (Johnson, Hedman), 17:03. Penalties—Salo, TB (delay of game), 8:07; Coburn, Phi (holding), 14:38; Salo, TB (hooking), 19:15.
Second Period—4, Philadelphia, Giroux 9, 15:21. Penalties—Hartnell, Phi (roughing), 4:28; Philadelphia bench, served by Rinaldo (too many men), 9:33; Malone, TB (interference), 12:31.
Third Period—5, Tampa Bay, Purcell 6 (Aulie, Stamkos), 9:25. 6, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 21 (Killorn, St. Louis), 19:57 (en). Penalties—Gudas, TB (tripping), 7:12; Grossmann, Phi (boarding), 15:19. Shots—Philadelphia 12-12-6—30. Tampa Bay 11-9-7—27. Power-play opportunities—Philadelphia 0 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 4. Goalies—Philadelphia, Bryzgalov 13-13-1 (26 shots-23 saves). Tampa Bay, Lindback 10-7-1 (30-28). A—19,204 (19,204). T—2:30. Referees—Dan O'Halloran, Jean Hebert. Linesmen—Jonny Murray, David Brisebois.