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Lightning end Flyers' 10-game home winning streak

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- After allowing 11 goals in the three previous games, and with starter Ben Bishop almost ready to return from injured reserve, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback was looking for a bounce-back game.

He got one Saturday, stopping 35 of 38 shots in a 6-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jakub Voracek scored two goals, Wayne Simmonds had a power-play goal, and Claude Giroux had two assists for the Flyers, whose 10-game home winning streak was snapped. Steve Mason allowed five goals on 17 shots in two periods, the first time he allowed that many with Philadelphia. He was replaced by Ray Emery at the start of the third.

Ryan Malone scored two goals, and Teddy Purcell, Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Lindback made big saves at key moments through all three periods.

"He was arguably our best player," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You want to win hockey games in this League, consistent goaltending is what you need. ... I would never sit here and say he played poorly [but] he's had some bad breaks. [Saturday] they went his way. And I think we talked about it this morning, you work hard enough eventually things will turn around and go your way."

The win did come at a price; defensemen Sami Salo and Victor Hedman each left the game with an injury. The Lightning said they would be evaluated Sunday.

Salo blocked a shot in the first period, sat out the final two periods with a lower-body injury, and was seen after the game on crutches. The 39-year-old plays more than 16 minutes per game and provides a strong, smart, veteran presence on the blue line.

"That could be a bruise or a break," Cooper said. "Hopefully it's just a bruise."

Hedman did not return after being hit in the head by Flyers forward Scott Hartnell with 4:51 remaining. Hartnell was assessed a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.

The 23-year-old defenseman spiked his helmet and stick as he went off the ice, but Cooper said that was a good thing.

"I think if you saw the way he acted when he came off the ice, he was really ticked off," Cooper said. "I think if there was an (injury) issue I don't think he would have acted like that."

Hedman said after the game he felt fine.

Also feeling good was Lindback, who won for the fifth time in 16 games and said he was playing the way he expects to every game.

"First time in a long time I really felt like I came up to where I should be playing," Lindback said. "Keep building on this. We've got a three-game road trip here, so we've got to build from this game and keep going."

Lindback was at his best in the second half of the first period. Tampa Bay was held without a shot for more than 11 minutes, and Philadelphia had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:46. The Flyers put six shots on net, but nothing got through Lindback. The Flyers outshot the Lightning 15-7 in the first.

"If there was an early turning point in the game it was us killing off the 5-on-3 because they had us under siege a little bit," Cooper said. "That swung the momentum of the period."

The best save of the game should be credited to Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr with 12:19 left in the third period. The Flyers were down 5-3 when defenseman Andrej Meszaros carried the puck around the Lightning net and found Michael Raffl in front. Raffl's shot hit the crossbar and dropped onto Lindback's glove and began to slide toward the goal line, but Sustr reached his stick and stopped the puck before it could fully cross the line and shoved it under Lindback.

"I was lucky enough to be right there and get position," Sustr said. "I was making sure Hartnell didn't get a stick on it there. As I saw it, scramble in the crease, I went for it and tried to save it from a goal."

The Lightning were able to escape the first period up 1-0 on Killorn's goal at 4:33 then build their advantage to 3-1 in the first half of the second period on goals by Purcell and Malone sandwiched around a Voracek goal.

Goals 3:21 apart by Simmonds and Voracek allowed the Flyers to tie it 3-3, but the Lightning showed their resiliency by responding 66 seconds later with Filppula's 18th of the season.

Mason stopped Killorn's bouncing shot from the left side but couldn't control the rebound. Filppula got away from Steve Downie and scooped the rebound over a sliding Mason with his backhand at 15:41 to put the Lighting ahead 4-3.

"[Filppula] went hard to the net and stayed at the net and then the puck came to him and he makes an unreal skill play to put it in the net," Cooper said. "He's a pretty dynamic player. He's a puck-possession guy, he can slow a game down, and he's not afraid to go top those dirty areas to make a play."

The Flyers were left lamenting how they let the game slip away.

"We had that momentum," Voracek said, "and they went down and we got scored on. Sometimes it happens in a game when you have momentum then you lose it right away, but we are a very good team so we should build it right back. I think we played a solid game [Saturday]. We had so many chances in the first period, we couldn't capitalize and it hurt us at the end of the game."

The Lightning pushed their lead to 5-3 when St. Louis scored with 56.2 seconds left in the second period. Radko Gudas held on to the puck in the Tampa Bay end despite being hounded by Giroux and found Tyler Johnson with a breakout pass. Johnson skated the puck into the Philadelphia end and passed across to St. Louis, who one-timed a shot past Mason from the right faceoff dot for his 20th of the season. It's the 10th time in the past 11 seasons St. Louis has scored at least 20 goals; he had 17 in the shortened 2012-13 season.

At 38 years old, St. Louis leads the Lightning with 20 goals and 42 points.

"You try to prepare yourself to have the best year you can have and help your team win," St. Louis said. "You reach 20 goals and it's something I'm proud of. And I'm going to try to keep going."

When the Flyers came out to start the third period, Emery was in net. Mason said after the game he felt he didn't play his best, but his teammates were not ready to let their goaltender take the blame.

"I think we played like garbage defensively," Simmonds said. "I thought we had all the chances in the world offensively, we were clicking. We just have to get that defensive game back tight. We have to get it tight going again."

They'll have a chance to do that Sunday when they play at the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The Flyers had chances in the third period besides Raffl's point-blank attempt. They got a power play when B.J. Crombeen was called for delay of game but their two shot attempts were blocked.

The only goal of the third was Malone's empty-netter with 1:48 remaining. It was his first multigoal game since Jan. 25, 2013; the goals were Malone's first since Nov. 12.

The Lightning will continue on their road trip at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and at the Rangers on Tuesday.

They'll take with them the confidence that comes from winning seven of their past eight away from home.

"It's special," Sustr said. "We have a good thing going on the road lately. We have to make sure we play the same way every night."


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