Friday, November 24, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Lindback doesn't fold vs. Flyers

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TAMPA — G Anders Lindback said there was no excuse for the goal he gave up Sunday, one he "never should let in."

In the opening minute, Flyers C Sean Couturier sent a weak, odd-angled shot from the left corner toward the crease, and the puck snuck in between Lindback's right skate and the post.

"It's a brutal goal," Lindback said. "That's something that happens, and when it happens, you've got to let it go and move on."

Lindback did that, stopping the Flyers final final 24 shots. That included a key pad save on a three-on-one to help the Lightning kill a four-minute power play early in the first period.

It's the kind of resilience the Lightning has seen a lot from Lindback in the first five games as he tries to establish himself as a No. 1 goalie. "At some point, he just shuts the door, and that's the mark of a great goaltender," coach Guy Boucher said. "He battles, has got great talent, he's got an amazing attitude and never gets nervous. That's a good mix."

moving up: With four assists, Marty St. Louis is third in the league in points with 11. His career high five assists also came against the Flyers (Nov. 18, 2010).

PROGRESS: After being outscored 10-3 in second periods this season, the Lightning played the one against the Flyers 0-0. Boucher did not remind his players before the period about their duties. "I didn't go in the room," he said. "Sometimes no words is a bigger message."

CARLE'S CALL: When D Matt Carle last summer contemplated signing with the Lightning, the 1-3-1 neutral zone system that caused so much controversy during a Nov. 9, 2011, game between Tampa Bay and the Flyers was on his mind.

Carle was with Philadelphia then and wasn't sure the system — a fairly stagnant one that waited for the opposition to skate into it — would fit his more aggressive game. So, he asked Lightning GM Steve Yzerman about the future.

"Yeah, that was some of the conversation, some of the details toward that," Carle said before facing the Flyers for the first time since signing a six-year, $33 million Lightning deal. "Steve made suggestions … they were trying to get away from some of that stuff. That was comforting to hear."

In the 2011 game, Philadelphia's strategy against the 1-3-1, which set up like a wall through the neutral zone, was to wait for the Lightning to break formation. That led to seven times in the first 20 minutes in which the Flyers just held the puck in their zone, once for 50 seconds.

This season Tampa Bay uses a more insistent forecheck and challenges puck-carriers to create turnovers and dumpins.

"His questions were good," Yzerman said. "We're making a commitment, and he's a free agent and has multiple options. (Free agents) want to know they're going into an environment they can enjoy but also will be able to thrive in. I appreciated the conversation."

ODDS AND ENDS: C Steven Stamkos has a five-game points streak. … LW Cory Conacher's four-game point streak was stopped. … The Lightning is on a 4-0-1 home streak vs. the Flyers. … Former G Daren Puppa attended as part of the team's 20th anniversary celebration. … Defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron, and RW P.C. Labrie were scratched.

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