Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Carle is team-record plus-6 vs. Flyers

PHILADELPHIA — Here's a stat line you don't see very often: Matt Carle was a team-record plus-6 Saturday without a shot on goal.

The Lightning defenseman had two assists and two blocked shots in 22:22 of ice time in a 6-3 win over the Flyers. But the bottom line was he was on the ice for each of Tampa Bay's goals and off the ice for all the Flyers'. "That was big news in the locker room," coach Jon Cooper said. "That's a good season for some people."

Eight Lightning players, including five defensemen, have been plus-5. The last was D Sami Salo on Jan. 25, 2013, against the Senators. Plus/minus is a weird statistic because it does not take into account credit or blame, just if players are on the ice when goals are scored. That is why Carle said he doesn't read much into small samples.

"If you look at the statistic over a long period of time — like (retired Red Wing) Nick Lidstrom, who was plus-400 (actually plus-450) in his career — that really says a lot about a player," he said. "But one game or two or three kind-of span, it's more a coincidence."

Still, Cooper said of Carle, "He was a horse. He was outstanding in front of the net on the (first-period) five-on-three."

Carle, plus-16 for the season, preferred to credit teammates: "A couple of line changes here and there, and guys were making good plays off the rush. It's better than being minus-6."

MILESTONE: With his second-period goal, RW Marty St. Louis has scored at least 20 goals 10 times in his career and in 10 of his past 11 seasons. He had 17 in lockout-shortened 2012-13. "I'm just trying to prepare myself to have the best year you can have and help your team win," St. Louis said. "You reach 20 goals, it's something I'm proud of."

Especially with the latest coming one game after his turnover versus the Capitals led to the winning goal in Thursday's 4-3 loss. "Does he play a perfect game every time? Nobody does," Cooper said. "But he is consistently a big-time player for us. We need a big goal, and he scores it."

MEDICAL MATTERS: C Steven Stamkos said the latest X-ray on his broken right leg was "really good." … RW J.T. Brown (shoulder) was in the lineup after missing two games. … D Radko Gudas (lower body) also played.

ODDS AND ENDS: LW Ondrej Palat's eight-game points streak, a franchise rookie record and Tampa Bay's longest streak this season, ended. … D Mark Barberio and forwards Richard Panik and Tom Pyatt were scratched.

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