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Lightning lose late lead, recover to beat Flyers in shootout

Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos score in the shootout as Tampa Bay overcomes Claude Giroux’s late third-period goal.
Lightning players celebrate after a goal by Brayden Point, third from right, against the Flyers' Carter Hart (79) during the second period of Thursday's game in Philadelphia.
Lightning players celebrate after a goal by Brayden Point, third from right, against the Flyers' Carter Hart (79) during the second period of Thursday's game in Philadelphia. [ MATT SLOCUM | AP ]
Published Nov. 19
Updated Nov. 19

PHILADELPHIA — The Lightning came dangerously close to giving away a game Thursday against the Flyers.

Their 4-3 win earned a celebration after Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point beat Flyers goalie Carter Hart top shelf and the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy made two saves in a shootout. But after the game, there was less a sense that they had eked out a win than they had expended more energy than they should have to get two points.

The Lightning (9-3-3) won their third straight and extended their point streak to nine games.

“That’s what you want to do, especially early,” coach Jon Cooper said. “We’ve had a multitude of injuries, like other teams have had, and some of these young guys are getting to play, and we’re having success with them in the lineup.”

The Lightning put themselves in a two-goal hole in the first despite a period in which they dominated and dictated play. Even after rallying to tie the score in the second, they allowed the Flyers to gain steam. And after scoring a go-ahead goal in the final two minutes of regulation, they couldn’t hold the lead.

Flyers forward Claude Giroux tied it at 3 with nine seconds left.

Once again, the Lightning could thank Vasilevskiy for a win. He stopped 25 of the final 26 shots he faced, including all four in overtime.

Tampa Bay probably should have put Philadelphia away easier than it did.

“Our (defensive) side of the game has been pretty good on our end,” Cooper said. “After we gave up those two early (goals), we didn’t give a whole lot up for the rest of the game until the end there. And so if we’re going to continue to do that, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to munch points.”

Lightning turnovers gift-wrapped three odd-man rushes in the first period, and the Flyers scored twice. Giroux scored 1:34 into the game. Midway through the period, forward Travis Konecny scored after he collected the puck in the neutral zone after Lightning defenseman Cal Foote’s unsuccessful attempt to keep it in the offensive zone led to a 3-on-1 breakaway.

“We gave up some quality scoring chances,” Stamkos said. “It wasn’t a lot, just quality, in the first. I thought we cleaned that up in the second. We were able to rally back.”

The Lightning got a power-play goal from Point, his third in as many games, 1:51 into the second. Mathieu Joseph’s net presence led to the equalizer with 5:08 left in the period.

But the Lightning continued to hurt themselves with untimely penalties. A hooking call on Joseph with 13 seconds left in the period and a delay-of-game call on Pat Maroon 4:41 into the third took away momentum.

“We stuck with it,” Cooper said. “I didn’t like our start. … Now you’re down 2-0, but I knew we had more in us. Really strong second period that brought us back in it, and I thought we could have been up as opposed to being tied.

“But that’s what happens when you fall behind. And the penalties hurt us. We take that late penalty, so basically the first six minutes of the third we’re short.”

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The Lightning had just five shots in the final 24 minutes of regulation, but Stamkos put the Lightning ahead with a bad-angle shot from the left corner with 1:56 left.

“We had a set play off the faceoff, and (the Flyers) did a good job of covering it, and I just thought I’d sling one on net,” Stamkos said. “Probably got a little lucky.”

“For the most part, we dominated that game,” said Ross Colton, who had five shots on goal centering the fourth line. " ‘Vasy’ kept us in it, and then unfortunately, that (last Flyers goal) kind of just squeaks in there at the end. That’s going to happen. I think once we got to overtime, we just reset and refocused, and then Vasy was unbelievable the entire game.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieintheYard.

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