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game recap

Flyers shut down Lightning for third straight win

Philadelphia ends eight-game losing streak at Amalie Arena

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Sam Gagner and Matt Read scored power-play goals, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 at Amalie Arena on Friday for their third consecutive victory.

Brayden Schenn also scored for Philadelphia and Steve Mason made 18 saves for the Flyers (32-23-11), who are 6-1-0 in their past seven games. Philadelphia had been 0-6-2 at Tampa Bay since a 4-3 shootout win on Feb. 15, 2011.

Video: PHI@TBL: Flyers capitalize on scrum in front for PPG

The Flyers moved within two points of the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia has a game in hand.

"The guys look like they are just overwhelming the opposition right now, which is great to see," Mason said. "The effort is outstanding, and the reward is getting wins right now. We had a two-goal lead and we were able to get that third goal and that was huge against this team."

Brian Boyle scored late in the third period and Ben Bishop made 19 saves for the Lightning (39-24-5), who are 0-2-1 after a franchise-record nine-game winning streak.

"We are playing like a comfortable team that's already in the playoffs," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "If we are going to play like that we won't make it."

The Lightning fell to third in the Atlantic Division. They are one point behind the first-place Boston Bruins and are even with the Florida Panthers, who have played one fewer game.

Video: PHI@TBL: Schenn nets wrap-around goal to pad lead

Gagner made it 1-0 at 8:57 of the first period. He was credited with an unassisted power-play goal when his shot during a scramble appeared to be tipped into the net by Lightning forward J.T. Brown. It was Gagner's seventh goal of the season.

"It's an important time of the year and every game means something," Gagner said. "Our other [power-play] unit has been great for us so this group wanted to find a way to score some goals and we did that tonight."

It became 2-0 at 3:34 of the second period when Read skated from the point to the right circle and took a slap shot that beat Bishop on the stick side.

"We did a good job of getting puck to the net," Read said. "Whoever is on the power play unit is doing a great job out there right now. When the second unit gets out, there we want to shoot and try to generate opportunities. We're doing the things that will make us successful. We aren't turning the puck over and we are playing well defensively."

Schenn increased the Flyers' lead to 3-0 at 7:56, scoring on a wraparound after Bishop lost track of the puck while he was trying to play it. Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Manning got the assists.

"I think we're a confident group right now," Schenn said. "Everyone's buying in, playing their roles, doing their jobs, and that's resulting in wins. It's nice to come here. It's not an easy building to play in … our team seemed to struggle here a little bit. So it's nice to come here and get two points."

With Bishop on the bench for an extra attacker, Boyle made it 3-1 with 2:42 remaining in the third period. He whipped the rebound of defenseman Anton Stralman's shot past Mason for his first goal since Jan. 19.

The Flyers limited the Lightning to five shots in the third period.

"We have to watch the tape," Bishop said. "We have to look in the mirror here. Obviously it's not a good enough effort to score one goal in two games. We have to be better. We have to play more north-south and get those dirty goals and kind of get back to the way we were playing on the road. … I think we are trying to be a little too cute here, and hopefully we can watch the video and figure it out."

The Lightning will start a four-game road trip against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Philadelphia will play the second of a back-to-back at Florida on Saturday.

Video: Read and Schenn shine in win over Lightning

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