Skip to Main Content

Lightning expect challenge as they take on Flyers

by Adam Kimelman

LIGHTNING (26-14-3) at FLYERS (23-17-4)


Last 10: Tampa Bay 6-3-1; Philadelphia 8-2-0

Season series: It's the second of three games this season between the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning. On Nov. 27, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman scored two goals to spoil the return to Tampa Bay of Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier in a 4-2 Lightning victory.

Big story: It was only six weeks ago that the Flyers visited the Lightning, but Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said the recent video he's seen of the Flyers since then shows a different team.

Philadelphia has won three in a row, seven of its past eight and 10 in a row at home.

"It's going to be a tough one," Cooper said. "They've won 10 straight at home. They've pulled themselves not only close to the playoff hunt but in the playoff hunt. And now we're getting into the dog days and they're finding ways to win games. They're looking up at us in the conference standings and I'm sure they're going to want to avenge what happened here last time. For us we have to move on from [a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday] and go on to a team we want to keep below us and get two points."

Team Scope:

Lightning: Cooper announced Friday that Anders Lindback will start in goal Saturday, but said Ben Bishop could return to the lineup as soon as Monday.

Bishop was on the ice for about 20 minutes Friday, going through different drills during the team's practice. Bishop isn't eligible to come off injured reserve for an injury to his right wrist until Monday, and Cooper said he hopes Bishop will be able to play at some point during the team's three-game road trip that starts Saturday. The Lightning visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

"Just trying to get a feel," Cooper said of Bishop. "Hopefully he's going to play on the trip."

Flyers: A big reason for the Flyers' recent success has been their penalty-killing. After going 4-for-4 a man down against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, the Flyers have killed 19 straight penalties, a stretch that has lasted the past six games.

Entering the weekend they had moved to seventh in the League at 84.6 percent.

"I think there's a couple different factors," defenseman Braydon Coburn, who leads the team with an average of 3:56 per game shorthanded, told reporters Friday. "We've been very well prepared. We prepare for PK quite a bit. Lappy [assistant coach Ian Laperriere] has been really good in that role for us. Our best penalty-killer, when things break down, has been our goaltenders. They've been superb."

Coach Craig Berube also credited Laperriere's work with the penalty-killing unit as being a key reason for the team's success.

"Laperriere handles the PK," Berube said after the win Wednesday. "He does a real good job of scouting the other team and taking away their options, taking away their strengths. I think that's the biggest thing. The players are doing a great job. Penalty-killing is about everybody on the ice being more committed than the power play, blocking shots, clearing pucks, goalies making big saves, so they're all on the same page. They do a real good job."

Who's hot: Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has three points in his past two games and 11 in the past 12. … Flyers forward Scott Hartnell had his career-best eight-game point-scoring streak snapped Wednesday; he had four goals and five assists in that span.

Injury report: The Lightning are missing Bishop, defenseman Keith Aulie (hand) and forward Steven Stamkos (broken leg). Defenseman Radko Gudas (lower body) and forward J.T. Brown (upper body) are questionable. … Flyers forwards Zac Rinaldo (ankle) and Matt Read (concussion) are out. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (knee) is possible.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.