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game recap

Flyers defeat Lightning, end five-game losing streak

Philadelphia scores four goals in second period, Michal Neuvirth makes 24 saves

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves in his return to the lineup, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

It was his first game since sustaining a lower-body injury in the first period against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 12.

Video: TBL@PHI: Neuvirth makes a tough stop after a turnover

"I didn't expect an easy game," Neuvirth said. "[It] was tough to give up one early but I told myself that I still had a lot of hockey left, my teammates are going to need me, stay with it, grind it out. Big win for me and the whole team."

Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier, Michael Raffl and Radko Gudas scored, and Jakub Voracek had two assists for Philadelphia (21-15-5), which was 0-4-1 in its previous five games.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol changed three of his four forward lines from a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, including reuniting Couturier, Konecny and Voracek. The payoff came on the game-tying goal at 1:11 of the second period when Konecny finished a 2-on-1 rush with Voracek.

"We know how to play with each other," Konecny said. "We had about 20 games or so playing with each other and we create good offense. I've been saying all along we support each other, we complement each other really well and I think it's just a little change up that happens in hockey and it worked for us tonight."

 

WATCH: All Lightning vs. Flyers highlights

 

Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn scored for Tampa Bay (19-18-4), and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 40 saves.

It was the Lightning's third straight loss (0-3-0). They're 1-7-2 in their past 10 road games and play seven of their next nine away from Amalie Arena. 

"We just don't have that passion to go to the net and shoot the puck to score," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That's what they did tonight, they threw pucks at the net and had guys there and banged a bunch home."

Kucherov's goal at 5:34 of the first period off a 2-on-1 rush put the Lightning ahead 1-0 but the Flyers scored four times in the second.

Video: TBL@PHI: Kucherov tallies off of Namestnikov's feed

Konecny tied the game 1-1 early in the second period. The Flyers said the mood lightened considerably after the goal. 

"As soon as we got that goal I felt the change," Konecny said. "The guys were confident that it was going to keep coming here. One after another the guys kept going and that's how we got up."

Couturier put the Flyers ahead 2-1 when he scored at 8:42. It was their first lead in 227 minutes, 49 seconds, dating to the third period of their 6-3 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 28.

Raffl scored at 9:51 to make it 3-1. Killorn got the Lightning within 3-2 at 16:44, but the Flyers went ahead 4-2 when Gudas scored 57 seconds later.

 

Goal of the game

Couturier outmuscled Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov on a puck in front of the net, dragged it around Vasilevskiy and scored to put the Flyers ahead.

Video: TBL@PHI: Couturier buries rebound for go-ahead goal

 

Save of the game

Lightning forward Adam Erne had a breakaway at 4:49 of the third period, but Neuvirth did the splits to make the save with his left pad. He then stopped the Lightning's Cedric Paquette on the rebound.

Video: TBL@PHI: Neuvirth makes a pair of tough stops in 3rd

 

Highlight of the game

The horn sounded when Konecny scored but he wasn't sure it was a goal. "I didn't know it was in," he said. "[Voracek] stopped playing so I stopped playing. I figured he knew." Replay showed the puck hit the camera and ricocheted out.

Video: TBL@PHI: Konecny beats Vasilevskiy on two-on-one rush

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Flyers penalty killers didn't allow a shot on goal on two Lightning power plays.

 

They said it

"Good thing [there is] a game tomorrow. We have to refocus right away and look what we can improve on which is a lot." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

Video: TBL@PHI: Killorn draws iron, buries the rebound

 

Need to know

Forward J.T. Brown left the game with 4:37 remaining in the third period after being hit in the head by Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. Cooper had no update on his condition after the game. … Kucherov's goal was his 84th in the NHL, tying Rob Zamuner for 10th on the Lightning all-time list. … Lightning center German Rubtsov, selected by the Flyers with the 22nd pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, attended the game. General manager Ron Hextall said Rubtsov will meet with doctors to evaluate an injury sustained when he was hit in the face by a stick playing for Russia at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. Hextall also said he wasn't sure about the status of Rubtsov's attempt to terminate his contract with Vityaz in the Kontinental Hockey League and sign with Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which selected him with the 26th pick of the 2016 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. "It's got nothing to do with the Philadelphia Flyers," Hextall said. "This is Chicoutimi and German, his agent and Russia. We're really just a bystander here."

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, ROOT, SUN, NHL.TV)

Flyers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; FS-O, TCN-PH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Flyers score four in 2nd to defeat Lightning, 4-2

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