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Flyers-Lightning Preview @NHL
Flyers-Lightning Preview

GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (11-3-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (7-9-2).

TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to push their winning streak to seven games. They can do so by dealing the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning their seventh consecutive loss.

The Flyers won their sixth in a row in dramatic fashion Saturday, defeating Florida 5-4 on Mike Knuble's short-handed goal with 3.2 seconds remaining.

"It kind of took off on me a little bit and went right up in the joint (of the net)," said Knuble, who scored twice in the game. "It's probably one of the timeliest goals of my NHL career."

The victory was the Flyers' fourth straight by one goal.

Although Philadelphia hasn't lost since Oct. 28, the Flyers know they need to improve their penalty killing. They have converted on 20 percent of their power plays, but are the NHL's worst at killing off penalties.

Philadelphia has killed off only 77 of 101 short-handed situations (76.2 percent). That could improve against the Lightning, who have converted just 15 of 118 power-play opportunities.

After losing 5-2 at home to the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Lightning lost by the same score at Atlanta on Friday.

Tampa Bay led the Thrashers 2-0 in the first period before giving up five unanswered goals. The Lightning haven't won since Oct. 29 in Atlanta.

"It's definitely frustrating," said Tampa Bay goaltender John Grahame, pulled after allowing three goals in the second period. "We're doing everything we can to get out of it. We had a two-goal lead, but they were able to fight back."

The Lightning's frustrations may only increase, as the team announced Monday that right wing Martin St. Louis is expected to miss two to four weeks with a broken bone near the tip of his left ring finger. The 2004 NHL MVP has struggled at times this season, with five goals and 13 points in 18 games.

The Lightning swept the four-game season series against Philadelphia in 2003-04.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 13): Flyers - 23 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Atlantic Division. Lightning - 16 points, 2nd place, 9 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Simon Gagne, 17 goals; Peter Forsberg, 25 assists and 29 points; Joni Pitkanen, 32 PIM. Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier and Vaclav Prospal, 10 goals; Prospal, 14 assists and 24 points; Pavel Kubina, 34 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 13): Flyers - Power play: 20 percent (22 for 110), tied for 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 76.2 percent (77 for 101), 30th. Lightning - Power play: 12.7 percent (15 for 118), 27th. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (83 for 98), tied for 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Robert Esche (8-2-0, 3.00 GAA); Antero Niittymaki (3-1-0, 3.97). Lightning - Grahame (5-8-0, 1 SO, 3.04); Sean Burke (2-0-0, 1.57).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Lightning, 4-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 17, 2004; Lightning, 5-2. At Tampa, Fla., St. Louis notched a goal and assist as the Lightning completed the season series sweep.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 2-2-1 on the road; Lightning - 3-4-1 at home.

Associated Press
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