Similar to some other recent Lightning games, this one was a close, high-scoring contest that featured high-skill plays and leaky defense - on both sides.
For the Lightning, the first period was their shakiest. The 1:00 PM start was a little different and, as Jon Cooper pointed out afterwards, it was the team's fourth game in less than six days. Also, the Flyers, who were coming off their first regulation loss in a month, started the game well. The bottom line is that the Lightning weren't crisp or sharp in the opening period. They were slow to loose pucks, failed to execute clears and guilty of loose coverage. They also fell behind, 3-1.
Their game certainly improved after that. The Bolts had more puck possession and therefore reduced the amount of time that Philadelphia had the puck. During the final 45 minutes of regulation and overtime, shots were even, 29-29, and attempts favored the Lightning, 43-41. So after the first, both teams had segments when they controlled play. The Lightning rallied with consecutive second period goals from Victor Hedman and Dan Girardi - both of their shots deflected off Flyers defenders and into the net. The Flyers answered later in the frame with a sixth-attacker goal during a delayed penalty call to regain the lead, then added a fifth goal early in the third off an offensive zone faceoff win.
The Lightning would rally with three answered goals in less than six minutes. Off the rush, J.T. Miller popped in a loose rebound from Petr Mrazek to pull the Lightning to within 5-4. Alex Killorn's perfect outlet sprung Nikita Kucherov and Stamkos on a two-on-one and Stamkos tied the game. Then, Stamkos stole the puck in the Philly end and set up Hedman for the go-ahead goal.
It was a weird game for Andrei Vasilevskiy. Yes, he allowed six goals. But after Ivan Provorov's tally early in the third, Vasilevskiy was almost unbeatable. The Flyers did tie the game late in the third on a Claude Giroux tap-in, but that would be it. Following the Provorov goal, Vasilevskiy stopped 17 of 18 shots and produced several game-saving stops. His third period save on Nolan Patrick when it was 5-5 was likely his best of the night. He also made crucial saves in overtime, both during a Flyers four-on-three power play and during the delayed sequence prior to the power play starting. It was during that delayed penalty call when he made a brilliant save on Shayne Gostisbehere. Vasy also stopped both Philadelphia shots in the shootout. At the other end, Brayden Point and Stamkos scored for the Lightning, who, in their fifth consecutive overtime game, won their third straight in the shootout.
In the end, the Lightning will bank their two points. They showed resiliency in battling back from two multi-goal deficits and their top players came through with some beautiful plays. But they know they got away with a poor start. Also, they allowed too many shots for their liking (43) and had more problems with their team defense. But now, as they settle in for their long homestand, they'll get plenty of practice time and look to tighten things up.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Bobby "The Chief" Taylor):
Vasilevskiy's OT save on Gostisbehere during the delayed penalty call.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Bobby "The Chief" Taylor):
1. Steven Stamkos - Lightning. Career-best five points. Two goals and three assists.
2. Victor Hedman - Lightning. Two goals and two assists, tying a career-high for points in a game.
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy - Lightning. 37 saves.