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Fly-by: Flyers 5, Lightning 2

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Saturday, December 10, 2011

2 - 5
FINAL 1 2 3 T
Lightning 1 0 1 2
Flyers 0 3 2 5
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TBL:   R. Shannon (11:52 - 1st) , V. Lecavalier (PPG, 00:55 - 3rd)
PHI:   D. Briere (02:38 - 2nd) , J. Jagr (03:12 - 2nd) , W. Simmonds (PPG, 14:49 - 2nd) , M. Carle (PPG, 04:55 - 3rd) , S. Hartnell (EN, 19:32 - 3rd)

TBL: M. Garon (L)

Throughout an NHL season there are ups and downs. The Flyers are clearly on the up having won their last five games, including tonight’s 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But those wins have not come easy, and have not come without a price.

The team has endured a schedule of two back-to-backs during this streak, with three of the four coming on the road and two on the West Coast.

The team has also endured injuries with captain Chris Pronger out; defenseman Andreas Lilja and forward Brayden Schenn out, and now tonight the Flyers were without the services of Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov in the third period.

Giroux left around the two-minute mark of the second period and did not return in the third, while Bryzgalov left with 13 minutes left to go in the game.

And still despite all of that, bounces are going their way (see, Wayne Simmonds’ goal in the second period OR flash back to Danny Briere’s goal against the Pens on Thursday) and the defense is standing their ground AND producing points (see Kimmo Timonen’s two assists tonight and Matt Carle’s rifle over Garon’s shoulder)

As a result, this winning streak has vaulted them to the very top of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 18-7-3 and 39 points, one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins who have played two more games than the Flyers.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Flyers. Coming up this week is a schedule of heavy hitters. The Flyers will travel to Washington to take on the Capitals and then travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens before returning home to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday. It will be the team’s final game at home in the month of December.

The Flyers have won five games in a row, matching their longest winning streak since they won five in a row from December 9-18, 2010.
Claude Giroux posted two assists, giving him 39 points on the season (16G, 23A).  He has ten points (3G,7A) over the Flyers’ five-game winning streak.

Giroux also has 11 multi-point games so far this season.

Giroux and Scott Hartnell also have five-game point streaks.

Kimmo Timonen has seven assists in his last five games, while Wayne Simmonds has three goals in his last four games.
Jaromir Jagr’s goal tonight was his 656th career goal, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for 11th place on the NHL’s All Time List.  Jagr also scored his 10th goal of the season, which gives him his 18th career season with 10 or more goals per the Elias Sports Bureau.  That ties Teemu Selanne for most among active players.
Five Flyers had two-point games tonight (Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Jagr & Simmonds)

Danny Briere
Danny Briere gets tonight’s first star.

Briere kicked the night off for the Flyers by recording his ninth goal of the season with a rocket over the shoulder of Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon that tied the game 2:38 into the second period.

Briere also added an assist on the evening when he slid a great cross-ice pass to defenseman Matt Carle, who was at the top of the circle and fired the puck over Garon’s glove to give the Flyers a 4-2 lead.

Briere now has points in two straight games and has recorded at least a point in four of his last five games, three of which have been multi-point contests.

"I thought that he did a really nice job in the third period.  We double shifted him between that line and his line; you know young kid, lots of energy. He played extremely well, and I think that’s a real positive for our team." 
- Peter Laviolette on Sean Couturier

"It was a good second period. We were a little slow to start the game. We got a little talking to during the first intermission. Then we came out there guns blazing. We were the first to pucks, we were holding onto things and we got some bounces and got a few goals.”
- Scott Hartnell

“Starting to get more comfortable, trying to do the little things right and they're paying off, as of now anyway. I'm just trying to go to the net and trying to make hard strong plays along the wall. Tonight was...I thought it was a lucky goal, but I'll take that one.”
- Wayne Simmonds
Tonight's turning point is a power-play goal from defenseman Matt Carle.

After recording three consecutive goals, including two in a span of 34 seconds, the Flyers let up a goal 55 seconds into the third period from Vincent Lecavalier, which brought the Lightning to within one goal.

With momentum teetering, the Flyers went on the power play and cashed in. Carle took a perfectly placed cross-ice pass from Danny Briere and fired it top-shelf on Garon to give the Flyers their two-goal lead back.

It was a lead that they would not relinquish as they went on to post a 5-2 win.

PIC OF THE NIGHT: The Flyers locker room as it sits prior to the game vs. Tampa Bay Lightning.

Flyers 5, Lightning 2
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Danny Briere, Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Simmonds scored in the second period and the Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to five with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

The Flyers won for the seventh time in their past eight games to remain atop the Atlantic Division, while Tampa Bay lost for the sixth time in its past seven games.

Forward Claude Giroux had two assists to add to his NHL-high point total of 39 (16 goals and 23 assists) and extended his point streak to five games (three goals and seven assists for 10 points).


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