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Burns: 3 things from rallying against Philadelphia

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 4-2 win over the Flyers

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Recap: PHI 2, TBL 4

Lightning score three in 3rd to beat Flyers, 4-2

Alex Killorn and Ryan Callahan scored 12 seconds apart in the 3rd period, as the Lightning rallied for a 4-2 win against the Flyers

  • 04:19 •

Tampa Bay needed just 12 seconds to turn a late third-period deficit into a lead and eventual win over the Metro Division's Philadelphia Flyers.

Alex Killorn netted the game-tying goal at 13:28 of the final period on a rebound backhander after Slater Koekkoek put a slap shot off the back boards.

Before Lightning PA announcer Paul Porter could even get Killorn's name out on the scoring summary, however, Ryan Callahan potted the game-winner, sending AMALIE Arena into a frenzy.

Nikita Kucherov finished off the Flyers with his team-leading 10th goal of the season, giving the Bolts their second win over Philadelphia in five days following a 4-2 win.

The Lightning have now won five of their last six games and go into Thanksgiving just three points behind Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead.

How were the Lightning able to rally when it looked like they might lose their second-straight game? We'll break down the win with 3 Things from Wednesday night's comeback

Video: PHI@TBL: Lightning net two goals in 12 seconds1. WEARING DOWN IN THE THIRD

Philadelphia was playing the second half of a back-to-back set on Wednesday night having defeated Florida in Sunrise 3-1 a day earlier.

The Lightning knew they would be facing a tired team in the third period, and they took advantage with three goals over the final 20 minutes to erase a 2-1 deficit.

Philadelphia played its best hockey in the second period, recording 22 shots and two goals after a first period in which they registered just two shots on goal.

They desperately tried to hold on to that 2-1 lead in the third but couldn't do it against a Tampa Bay team finding its legs as the game wore on.

"(Philadelphia) battled back hard in the second, obviously, 22 shots and scored two goals," said Victor Hedman, who netted the game's first goal with three seconds remaining in the opening period to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead after one. "But at the same time, we knew we wanted to put on a strong effort in the third. I like the way we played for most of this game. We stuck with it, and we were able to obviously come back and get two big points."

After struggling to get out of their own way in the second period, the Lightning came out with a much better effort in the third, and combined with Philadelphia's weary legs, were able to completely dominate the final 20 minutes.

"It was one of our better efforts we've had," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. "Even though we took four of five on the road, I can't sit here and say we were at the top of our game in all of those games. I think our goaltending was at the top of the game. And tonight, for the most part, for probably about 45 or 50 minutes, we played a pretty sound hockey game. The last ten minutes of the second, we just let it get away from us a little bit."

Video: PHI@TBL: Callahan scores off a nice pass for lead2. WE RALLY WITH CALLY
Ryan Callahan got a late start to the 2016-17 season after offseason hip surgery forced him to miss the Lightning's first eight games.

Once back, Callahan was his usual, energetic self, bouncing from wall to wall looking for opposing players to hit and doing all the dirty work - blocking shots, being a net-front presence, digging the puck out in the corners - to help the Bolts win.

On the score sheet, though, Callahan's name has appeared rarely this season. Entering Wednesday's game against Philadelphia, Callahan had just two points on the season, a goal and an assist.

But with Steven Stamkos out for an extended period, the Lightning are going to need other forwards to step up to replace the lost production and provide balance throughout all four lines.

Callahan is one of those players who can provide a greater offensive presence.

Hopefully, his game-winning goal on Wednesday will be the catalyst.

Just 12 seconds after Killorn tied the game 2-2, Tyler Johnson took the puck off the face-off and carried it deep into the Flyers zone. After losing possession, the puck bounced into the slot for Brayden Point, who spotted Callahan streaking toward the back post out of the corner of his eye and fed him with an accurate pass.

"I was hoping (Point) saw me," Callahan said. "He had a lot of poise there. A lot of guys would throw that at the net. It was a great pass by him and makes it pretty easy on me."

Callahan's second goal of the season was also his 350th career NHL point. The Lightning improve to 32-5-2 when Callahan scores dating back to when the team acquired him in a trade on March 5, 2014.

"I think the teams at the end of the day that are up in the standings are the teams that respond during those injuries and keep on winning," Callahan said. "We have guys stepping in and playing a little bit bigger role, and so far it's working."

Callahan is going to be one of those guys expected to step up and play a bigger role.

So far, he's proven he's more than capable.

Video: Cooper on win over the Flyers3. FINIDNG CONSISTENCY
Despite the heroic comeback effort, the Lightning still let a lead slip away in the second because of uneven play in the period.

In the first, the Bolts only allowed two shots on goal, tying a season low for opponent shots for a period.

In the second, Philadelphia had 22 shots, a season high in a period for a Lightning opponent.

So what changed in the second?

"Well we knew they were going to push back, and I think we put ourselves in bad situations," Hedman said. "We got out of our structure, forcing plays and giving up odd man rushes. They're a good team. They got a lot of skill over there, so for us we just kind of lost our structure. We were a little impatient, especially when they scored that first one. We sat back a little too much and let them dictate the play. I think that's what happened, but I'm pretty sure we're going to look at the video (Thursday) and obviously try to straighten that out."

The Bolts regained their composure in the third, but Lightning head coach Jon Cooper would like to see his team maintain a consistent level of play throughout the game, not just turn it on when they get behind.

"(We) were a determined group in the first," he said. "The big issue is why weren't we that way in the second because we came back out in the third and we were the same way we were in the first. I thought we generated scoring chances to a fairly high degree in both those periods. We didn't give anything up, but we can't let what happened in the second period - it's been a little bit of an Achilles' heel for us, is the consistency."

The Lightning played well for two periods and parts of a third. A roughly 10-minute stretch in the second period nearly sunk them however.

They'll need to develop a more consistent game throughout if they wish to continue closing the gap in the Atlantic between themselves and Montreal.

 

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