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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime

TAMPA — Brett Connolly said he muttered to himself only a little after each of the two prime scoring chances he missed Wednesday night.

More important, he said, was to "keep plugging away."

It paid off for the Lightning rookie, who scored 2:30 into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 victory over the Flyers at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"I was happy for myself and happy to get the win for the guys," Connolly said. "It was a good feeling."

The victory was the third straight for Tampa Bay (8-5-2), each in either overtime or a shootout. It was its fifth straight win at home and, with 18 points, the Lightning tied the Capitals for first in the Southeast Division.

The Lightning held the league's top offensive team to just 15 shots, and did it without left wing Ryan Malone and defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Victor Hedman, all injured.

It overcame Philadelphia's questionable stalling tactics used seven times in the first period and several times thereafter to try to draw Tampa Bay out of its 1-3-1 trapping defense. Several times the Flyers held the puck in their zone for 50 seconds, waiting for Tampa Bay to make a move that never came.

Marc-Andre Bergeron's power-play goal 7:41 into the period, on a blistering slap shot, tied the score. And goaltender Dwayne Roloson made it stand up with a glove save on Scott Hartnell's wrist shot from the slot with 1:00 left.

"We're sticking to the game plan," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "When we have the puck we're aggressive with it, and when we don't have the puck we dedicate ourselves to being above the puck instead of chasing from behind. It tells me guys are buying in."

The team needed it with Ohlund and Hedman sidelined. It also needed, and got a commitment from, its forwards to play team defense, and Vinny Lecavalier (24:56), Marty St. Louis (26:48) and Steven Stamkos (26:44) all had season highs of ice time.

"There's a ton of character here," Connolly said. "It shows the type of guys we have in this room and how bad everyone wants to win."

Connolly just wanted to forget about the first-period scoring chance he missed when the puck went through his legs, and the open shot from the slot on which he whiffed in the third.

So in overtime, when the rebound of Dominic Moore's backhander came to Connolly in the slot, he scored his third goal of the season.

"It was a smart play by (Connolly) to follow up the play and be in the right place at the right time," Moore said.

"You can't get frustrated," Connolly said. "You have to keep plugging away."

Lightning 0 0 1 1 2
Flyers 0 1 0 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesLecavalier, TB (tripping), 6:15; Hartnell, Phi (hooking), 6:45; Carle, Phi (boarding), 9:28.

Second Period1, Philadelphia, Hartnell 6 (Voracek, Timonen), 9:34 (pp). PenaltiesThompson, TB (high-sticking), 1:03; Brewer, TB (interference), 3:24; Kubina, TB (tripping), 9:17; Pronger, Phi (slashing), 15:01; Pronger, Phi (high-sticking), 17:27; Roloson, TB, served by St. Louis (delay of game), 19:51.

Third Period2, Tampa Bay, Bergeron 3 (Stamkos, Lecavalier), 7:41 (pp). PenaltiesCoburn, Phi, major (fighting), 3:09; Downie, TB, major (fighting), 3:09; Voracek, Phi (tripping), 6:17; Timonen, Phi (interference), 13:17; Hartnell, Phi (kneeing), 16:05.

Overtime3, Tampa Bay, Connolly 3 (Moore, Kubina), 2:30. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalPhiladelphia 6-4-4-1—15. Tampa Bay 7-6-9-2—24. Power-play opportunitiesPhiladelphia 1 of 5; Tampa Bay 1 of 7. GoaliesPhiladelphia, Bryzgalov 6-4-2 (24 shots-22 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 5-3-1 (15-14). A19,204 (19,204). T2:36.

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime 11/09/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:18am]
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