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game recap

Gostisbehere's two goals help Flyers defeat Lightning

Philadelphia ends Tampa Bay's nine-game winning streak

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Staff Writer

Gostisbehere's two-goal night

TBL@PHI: Gostisbehere collects first two-goal game

3/7/16: Shayne Gostisbehere records his first career two-goal game, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy once in the 2nd period, and again in the 3rd

  • 00:43 •

PHILADELPHIA -- In 47 games Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has gone from a question mark to an exclamation point.

Gostisbehere had his first NHL two-goal game in the Flyers' 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

The win ended the Lightning's team-record nine-game winning streak.

Gostisbehere's goals were his 13th and 14th goals of the season. He leads rookie defensemen this season in goals and points (37). He's tied for fourth all-time in single-season goals by a rookie defenseman, and he passed Behn Wilson for the Flyers record for goals in a season by a rookie defenseman.

That's on top of the 15-game point steak, which set a record for NHL rookie defensemen, he had earlier this season.

Video: TBL@PHI: Schenn's deflection puts Flyers up by two

"Didn't expect any of this to happen," Gostisbehere said. "Just taking everything in stride and staying within yourself."

Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Philadelphia (31-23-11). Claude Giroux had two assists. Goalie Steve Mason made 16 saves. The 18 shots on goal allowed was tied for the fewest Philadelphia has allowed in a game this season.

The victory moved the Flyers within two points of the idle Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The win also capped a 5-1-0 homestand.

"It was a real good team effort tonight," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "Guys should enjoy that for a few minutes. Tomorrow's a day off. Got an opportunity to rest up physically, get away mentally and then we go right back to it."

Ondrej Palat and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for Tampa Bay (39-23-4), and Tyler Johnson had two assists. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves. The loss also ended Tampa Bay's six-game road winning streak.

Video: TBL@PHI: Palat hammers a rebound past Mason

"We got outplayed, outworked, outcompeted, outclassed, out-everythinged," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "So for 60 minutes they were worthy and deserving of winning that game. ... We laid an egg tonight."

Part of that egg has hatched by Gostisbehere. The 22-year-old was recalled on Nov. 14 from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, where he had 10 points in 14 games. They were his first 14 games since tearing the ACL in his knee during an AHL game on Nov. 7, 2014.

He went from a fill-in while defenseman Mark Streit recovered from surgery to repair a detached pubic plate to an irreplaceable part of the lineup.

"He's been a huge, important piece to this club," Mason said. "He has a skill set that not many guys have."

Gostisbehere showed those skills Monday first with 3:09 left in the second period when he got to the net and banged in a loose puck after a power move to the goal by Michael Raffl.

Video: TBL@PHI: Mason gloves Stamkos' wrister

At the time the Flyers were trailing 1-0 but had more than tripled the Lightning in shots.

It was Philadelphia's only goal on 22 shots in the second, a single-period season-high.

"We weren't frustrated," Gostisbehere said. "We knew we were playing really good hockey. We had them in the palm of our hand. Just showing our team we're sticking with it. Keep shooting and good things will happen."

More good happened at 7:21 of the third when he one-timed a Giroux pass past Vasilevskiy for a power-play goal to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Being in the right circle on the power play was a new position for Gostisbehere; it's the spot usually filled by forward Jakub Voracek, who is out because of a lower-body injury. But like everything else this season, he's proving to be a quick learner and a star student.

Video: TBL@PHI: Vasilevskiy denies Bellemare's great chance

"As experience comes you learn more," Gostisbehere said. "It's been a fun ride. I'm learning more and more every day. I'm a sponge and keep learning and getting better."

His teammates hope that learning curve keeps pointing up.

"He's clutch," Schenn said. "He's got that shot from the point and finds those openings. He's a shooter up top and that's what we need from him. He's been great since he stepped into our lineup and we're going to need him to get better in the last 18 games."

After Schenn's goal at 13:57 of the third made it 3-1, Namestnikov redirected Johnson's centering pass past Mason to get the Lightning within 3-2 with 6:07 remaining in the third period.

The Lightning continued to push but with Vasilevskiy out for an extra attacker in the final minute, Simmonds scored an empty-net goal.

Video: TBL@PHI: Simmonds seals the win with an empty-netter

Vasilevskiy was the main reason the Lightning were able to remain in the game. In addition to his strong play in the second period, he helped kill off four first-period Flyers power plays. His best save came with 9:22 left in the first period when he made a lunging glove save on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare from in front of the net on a 2-on-0 Flyers opportunity.

"It was all [Vasilevskiy]," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "He gave us a chance."

The Lightning led 1-0 after one period on Palat's goal, his 11th of the season and third straight game with a goal. Slater Koekkoek, the 10th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, had an assist on the goal for his first NHL point.

It was one of the few highlights for the Lightning. They'll see the Flyers again Friday at Amalie Arena, but first they host the Boston Bruins Tuesday. After a game like Monday, the players are happy to have another chance to get right back at it.

"The beauty about this sport is we got a game tomorrow against a divisional opponent and we obviously have to have a bounce back," Stamkos said. "... I expect a bounce back from this group tomorrow."

Video: Gostisbehere, Flyers down Lightning, 4-2

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