PHILADELPHIA — Inside the maelstrom that was the crease in front of the Lightning goal, Dominic Moore kept his cool.
Slowly, almost deliberately, the Tampa Bay center nudged a loose puck to the glove of goalie Mike Smith, spread-eagle on the ice after a game-saving stop, who froze the puck with 12.9 seconds left. It was a subtle end, a smart end, to an 8-7 win over the Flyers on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.
"When it seems like they're throwing everything at you, that's when you have to have poise," Moore said.
Especially in a game with nine first-period goals (Philly led 5-4), a goaltender change for each team, and Tampa Bay (10-7-2), winners of two straight and playing on consecutive nights, overcoming three two-goal deficits and scoring the final three.
"I've never been part of a game like that," Smith said. "It felt like there were soccer nets out there for a while. But we stuck with it. It was a big character builder, for sure."
Steven Stamkos, with a league-best 19 goals, had a hat trick and a personal-best five points. Marty St. Louis had a personal-best five assists.
But it was third-line center Nate Thompson who crashed the net to score the only goal of the third period, 5:19 in, off a rebound to break a 7-7 tie.
"It bounced right to me," Thompson said. "I made sure I got it up. It felt pretty good."
Fourteen Tampa Bay players had points, including starting goalie Dan Ellis, who was replaced with 4:26 left in the first after allowing four goals on 10 shots. Smith stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third. Wing Ryan Malone was a monster in front of the net and had a goal and six shots. The team scored three power-play goals, was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and blocked 24 shots.
Coach Guy Boucher was the killjoy: "Well, we say the hero is the guy who lasts a little longer than the other one, and we did. All their goals except one came from bad box-outs in front of our net. We have to be better at boxing out and hunting sticks."
So, it wasn't textbook.
"It was fun for the guys to play," St. Louis said. "It was tough on the heart, but we're in good shape, and our blood pressure is fine."
Cool as a cucumber was Moore, whose play in front of the net, with bodies flying and sticks flailing, came with the Flyers playing five-on-four with an empty net and after Smith had stopped Daniel Briere's wraparound try.
"That's how you win these games," Stamkos said, "when you have everybody willing to battle and chip in."
And calm the storm.
First Period—1, Philadelphia, Nodl 4 (Zherdev, Richards), 4:21. 2, Philadelphia, Zherdev 6 (Carle, Richards), 5:03. 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 17 (St. Louis, Ellis), 8:20 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Hall 3 (Hedman, Bergenheim), 8:36. 5, Philadelphia, Carter 9 (O'Donnell, Giroux), 9:51. 6, Tampa Bay, Malone 3 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 13:59 (pp). 7, Philadelphia, Hartnell 7 (Coburn, Carle), 15:34. 8, Philadelphia, Briere 10 (Hartnell, O'Donnell), 18:04. 9, Tampa Bay, Clark 4 (D.Moore, Hedman), 18:18. Penalties—Pronger, Phi (interference), 7:29; Carle, Phi (hooking), 12:07; Giroux, Phi (delay of game), 13:06.
Second Period—10, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 18 (St. Louis, Lundin), 4:11. 11, Philadelphia, Zherdev 7 (Powe, Pronger), 4:59. 12, Philadelphia, Meszaros 1 (van Riemsdyk, Betts), 9:27. 13, Tampa Bay, Downie 3 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 9:41. 14, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 19 (Purcell, St. Louis), 18:59 (pp). Penalties—Tampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), :33; Thompson, TB (delay of game), 2:05; Richards, Phi, double minor (high-sticking), 16:23.
Third Period—15, Tampa Bay, Thompson 3 (Tyrell, Bergenheim), 5:19. Penalties—Downie, TB (slashing), 1:34; Stamkos, TB (tripping), 7:34; Richards, Phi (hooking), 9:56; Briere, Phi (holding stick), 13:49; Meszaros, Phi (clipping, unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:37; Kubina, TB (interference), 18:51. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 11-9-13—33. Philadelphia 13-8-11—32. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 3 of 9; Philadelphia 0 of 4. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ellis (10 shots-6 saves), Smith 5-3-0 (15:34 first, 22-19). Philadelphia, Bobrovsky (11-7), Boucher 1-3-1 (0:00 second, 22-18). A—19,672 (19,537).