Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers-Lightning Preview

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers ended a pair of double-digit losing streaks the last time they faced the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This time, the Flyers (12-32-5) will be looking to build on their first win in 10 games when the teams meet Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

The Flyers beat the Lightning 4-3 on Dec. 28 to snap a 10-game losing streak in the series. The victory at Tampa Bay was Philadelphia's first against the Lightning since April 4, 2003.

The win also ended a franchise-record 10-game overall slide for the Flyers, owners of the worst record in the league. Simon Gagne, who tops the Flyers with 23 goals and 36 points, had two goals for Philadelphia.

"We needed to put a stop on this losing streak we had, especially playing Tampa," Philadelphia captain Peter Forsberg said after that game. "We had a long losing streak against them too, so it's great to get a win."

Now, Philadelphia will be trying to end Tampa Bay's six-game winning streak at the Wachovia Center. The Lightning (26-23-2) have not dropped a road game in the series since Jan. 18, 2003.

The Flyers snapped a nine-game skid Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta. Jeff Carter scored two goals, including the winner with 1:02 remaining.

"We've played a lot of close games. We just weren't able to close them out. We talked going into the third period about having a good feeling," Carter said.

Antero Niittymaki made 37 saves to snap a personal 15-game losing streak. He had not won since Nov. 30 against the New York Islanders.

"It went pretty well. It was fun to play. I felt pretty good," Niittymaki said. "I'm one-and-15 in my last 16 games now."

Niittymaki's backup, Robert Esche, has lost four straight, posting a 3.79 goals-against average during his slide.

Philadelphia had allowed at least three goals in all but one of its defeats during the nine-game skid.

"Finally, we got a win. We've been close a lot lately," Forsberg said. "We sat back and let Niittymaki win it for us."

The Lightning are coming off Friday's 2-0 defeat to Martin Brodeur and New Jersey. The shutout loss was just the second of the season for Tampa Bay.

"We played a good hockey game ... couldn't beat the goalie," said coach John Tortorella, whose team had 28 shots on goal, including 12 in the third period.

The Lightning had won seven of their previous eight games, scoring at least three goals in all but two of the victories over that stretch.

Center Vincent Lecavalier's point streak ended at 10 games. He had nine goals and seven assists during the span.

Johan Holmqvist made 23 saves against the Devils but had his five-game winning streak snapped. Marc Denis, meanwhile, is 5-2-0 with a 3.24 GAA in his last eight appearances for Tampa Bay.
View More