It was another road win for the Lightning - their fourth consecutive on this five-game trip - but this one had some potholes along the way. Fortunately for the Bolts, they received an outstanding performance from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, some timely offense, a strong penalty kill effort against one of the top power play units in the league and a little bit of puck luck. That all added up to a 3-0 shutout victory.
In terms of their overall play, the Lightning did not start particularly well. The good news was that, as the game progressed, their play improved. For much of the first period, however, the Lightning were having problems with puck management. As a result, the Flyers had most of the puck possession and were able to apply consistent pressure. That pressure help to yield three first period power play opportunities. But the Flyers didn't score. Vasilevskiy made 12 first period saves, including eight on those three Philadelphia power plays. The Bolts also caught a break when Michael Del Zotto rang a shot off the crossbar in the opening minutes.
Shot attempts in the first period were 24-8 in favor of the Flyers, but the Lightning came out of the period with a 1-0 lead. That's because the Bolts converted on their lone first period power play chance. After Valtteri Filppula entered the offensive zone, he pulled up at the left point and slipped the puck to Alex Killorn, who accepted the pass in stride and raced to the left circle. Three Flyers penalty killers were mesmerized by the puck and left Tyler Johnson unguarded at the right circle. Killorn delivered a perfect pass to Johnson, who finished his shot into an open side of the net.
As the second period began, the Lightning started executing better. They were doing it with a shortened bench, however. Jonathan Drouin took a high hit from Brayden Schenn in the first and didn't return until late in the second. Brayden Point also left the game early in the second period. Still, the Bolts were able to make plays out of their own end and through the neutral zone more consistently. One of those plays led to a goal. Vladdy Namestnikov skated through the neutral zone and into the Philadelphia end. At the right circle, he dropped a pass to Ondrej Palat, who cut to the slot. Del Zotto lost his balance on the play, which opened up the ice for Palat. He wristed a shot past Steve Mason's stick and the Lightning had a 2-0 lead. Right after that goal, the Lightning endured two long, tough defensive zone shifts, but thanks to a great Vasilevskiy save on Nick Cousins, again escaped with no damage done. Then, during a delayed penalty call on the Lightning late in the frame, the Bolts dodged another bullet when Sean Couturier just missed on a backdoor feed.
Early in the third, Drouin added to the lead. He took a long outlet from Palat, sped past Jake Voracek and finished on a breakaway. On the next shift, Vasilevskiy made another terrific save, denying Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. After that chance, the Flyers were fairly quiet until the closing minutes, when they posted the final nine shots of the game. A few were dangerous, including an open chance for Voracek, but Vasilevskiy stopped them all. He finished with 32 saves and posted his second shutout in a row.
The Bolts have already picked up eight points on the trip. They have an opportunity to make it a perfect 10 points out of 10 if they can beat Nashville on Monday.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game:
The three successful first period penalty kills.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
- Andrei Vasilevskiy - Lightning. 32-save shutout.
- Ondrej Palat - Lightning. Goal and assist.
- Braydon Coburn - Lightning. Solid all-around game against his former team.