The Lightning used an excellent start to build a 3-0 lead and defended well throughout the night to pick up their seventh consecutive win.
The Flyers, who are scrambling to move up the standings and had gone 12-1-1 in their previous 14 games, saw a Lightning team that didn't dress Victor Hedman or Brayden Point. Andrei Vasilevskiy got the night off. League-leading scorer Nikita Kucherov didn't have a point. But none of that mattered in the end, as the Lightning scored four goals (plus an empty-netter), killed three penalties and limited the number of Philadelphia scoring chances.
The first period was the Lightning's best, as they cleanly executed all aspects of their game. They managed the puck well, attacked the Flyers with speed, bottled up Philly in the neutral zone, forced turnovers in the Philadelphia end and held their structure nicely in the defensive zone when they didn't have the puck. They netted three goals in the first 10:23 on Carter Hart, who was subsequently pulled for Brian Elliott.
The Flyers tried to make a push at different points in final two periods, but the Lightning repeatedly withstood those surges. In the first half of the second period, the Flyers enjoyed several extended offensive zone shifts, but the Lightning's tight team defense prevented Philadelphia from translating that possession advantage into dangerous looks. The Flyers' best second period opportunity came late in the frame, when Jake Voracek forced Louis Domingue to make a pad-stacking save. Domingue quickly recovered and stopped Travis Sanheim's rebound shot.
In each of the first two meetings between the clubs this year, the Flyers rallied from big deficits in the third period to force overtime. Tonight, it didn't happen. While the Lightning surrendered two goals off the rush in the third, they didn't let the Flyers build momentum from either of those tallies. Instead, they continued to play a solid, structured defensive game. Yanni Gourde's power play goal, which came in between the two Philly tallies, gave them some breathing room. The Flyers also were guilty of taking two other third period penalties, which allowed the Lightning to work down the clock.
The Lightning have now won seven in a row - the last three have come against Eastern Conference teams who are in the midst of a tight playoff race and hungry for points.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1. Ryan McDonagh - Lightning. Goal and assist.
2. J.T. Miller - Lightning. Goal and assist.
3. Erik Cernak - Lightning.