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Lightning Get By Flyers, 5-2

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Philadelphia, PA, November 2, 2006) – Martin St. Louis scored two goals and added an assist in leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the Wachovia Center.

With his team leading 1-0 in the second period on his first period goal, St. Louis added his second at 7:27 on a tip-in. Luke Richardson floated one towards the net where St. Louis got a piece of it with a borderline high stick. A lengthy review did not result in a change.

Tim Taylor made it 3-0 late in the second period, when he wrapped the puck around the net. Antero Niittymaki made the initial save, but Taylor remained at the side of the net and jammed at the puck several times as it squirted behind the line with 1:50 left.

"To me, [Niittymaki] had it frozen long enough so that a whistle could go but, on the other side, we've got to clear people away from the net," said John Stevens after the game. "It is a compound problem. One, when the whistle doesn't blow, and two, when we allow people to hang around and get some whacks at it."

Philadelphia got back into the game with two consecutive scores in the third period. First, Kyle Calder fed R.J. Umberger in the slot, and Umberger fired a wrist shot past goaltender Johan Holmqvist with 8:40 left. Just 21 seconds later, Geoff Sanderson won a faceoff and Simon Gagne got the puck back to Randy Jones at the point. Jones' wrist shot through traffic found the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game.

The Flyers were unable to get the equalizer, though, after several penalties to captain Peter Forsberg who was called for hooking at 12:25 and high-sticking at 15:50. Following the high-sticking call Forsberg was sent off the ice with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and 10-minute misconduct.

Holmqvist was called for high-sticking at 17:57 and Stevens pulled Niittymaki for a five-on-four advantage as Philadelphia was looking for the tying goal, but Vincent LeCavalier scored in an empty net. The Lightning added another empty net goal by Eric Perrin with less than a minute to play to cap the scoring.

"Our whole plan was to come in and push them back make them play in their own end and be the aggressor team and really go after it. I thought that we just sat back and waited to see what they were going to do," said Stevens.

"We need to play when the puck drops. We were waiting for something to happen and they took advantage of it," said Gagne.

The victory was the Lightning's 10th straight regular season win against Philadelphia as the Flyers fell to 3-8-1 on the season.

Philadelphia had a couple of chances to get the first goal of the game before St. Louis scored at 10:39. Gagne's quick shot from in front of the net was deflected away by Holmqvist early on, and then the Flyers failed on a three-on-one rush later.

That failed rush led to LeCavalier feeding St. Louis charging the net to give Tampa the lead it would not relinquish.

Jeff Carter left the game after the first period with a lower body injury and did not return, while Randy Robitaille left late in the game after going hand into the boards after taking the high-stick from Holmqvist late in the game.

"Right off the face off I took a shot and got it right above the ankle. It's pretty sore right now," said Carter about his injury.

The Flyers fell to 2-2 on their season-high five-game homestand, which wraps up on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).

John Stevens fell to 2-2 as a head coach. Philadelphia is now 0-2 against the Lightning this season, with the next game coming on December 28 in Tampa. Boyd Kane (high ankle sprain) and Mike Knuble (fractured finger) remained out due to injury. Calder's assist was his first point as a Flyer.
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