FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
LIGHTNING (12-14-2) at FLYERS (17-7-3)
1. KEEP ON STREAKIN
The Flyers come into tonight's game vs. Tampa Bay riding a four-game winning streak, their longest of the season thus far… During this streak, three have been won by a one-goal margin and two have gone past regulation play.
Scott Hartnell has also been streaking lately, posting a four-game goal-scoring streak and five points in that span. Over the course of his last 10 games, Hartnell has seven goals and 11 points, recording at least a point in seven of those 10 games.
3. IT'S A TRAP!
The Lightning have enjoyed success against the Flyers recently, going 4-0-1 in their last five meetings with four of the five games being decided by one goal… Tonight is the second time this season that the Flyers have faced the Lightning. In their last meeting the Flyers held their position to not get caught up in Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 trap, but dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Ilya Bryzgalov
Bryzgalov comes into tonight's game riding a four-game win streak, having started in net the last four outings for the Flyers… During that time Bryzgalov has posted a 2.68 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
5. Player to watch LIGHTNING: Steven Stamkos
Stamkos ranks 5th in the NHL with 16 goals, while also leading the team with 30 points, which ranks 8th in the NHL… In his career so far, 135 goals are more than double that of any other active NHL player under the age of 22.
The Philadelphia Flyers' attempt to frustrate the Tampa Bay Lightning last month didn't result in a win.
Given the way each team is playing of late, the Flyers might not need any tricks to defeat the Lightning during Saturday night's rematch at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia (17-7-3) tried its best to get Tampa Bay (12-14-2) out of its 1-3-1 trap during a matchup at the St. Pete Times Forum on Nov. 9. The Flyers held the puck in their own end, a tactic that was also employed by Washington when it faced Tampa Bay last season, seven times during the scoreless first period and at other points in the game.
"(The trap is) just part of what they do, and we were trying to figure out a way around it," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Everybody coaches differently."
The four corners-style strategy, however, didn't pay off as Philadelphia fell 2-1 in overtime and dropped to 1-3-1 in its last five against the Lightning.
The Flyers, however, enter this game on a season-high, four-game win streak after holding on for a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. Philadelphia, which has won four of five at home, nearly blew its early three-goal lead in that game but might not have that problem should it hold the same advantage Saturday.
The Lightning have scored two or fewer goals in each of their last six games but managed to snap a season-worst, five-game skid Thursday. Dominic Moore tallied the tying score in the third period and the shootout winner in a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
Moore's day didn't start out as joyous because his shot in a morning practice hit veteran forward Martin St. Louis and put the former league MVP out indefinitely with facial and nasal fractures.
"We really wanted to win this one for Marty," Moore said. "We just wanted to hang in there. Sometimes something really good can come out of adversity. It certainly feels great to get this win."
The Flyers have already endured a lengthy absence of one of their stars, captain Chris Pronger. General manager Paul Holmgren announced Friday that while the defenseman's knee is healing, he is still dealing with concussion-like symptoms and will remain out indefinitely.
Pronger, who hasn't played since Nov. 19, is expected to see doctors in Pittsburgh on Wednesday for another evaluation.
Without their captain, Philadelphia will try to add to a scoring binge that's featured 16 goals during its win streak. The Flyers haven't won five straight games since Dec. 9-18, 2010, and haven't claimed three in a row at home since a four-game streak Jan. 25-Feb. 10.
Scott Hartnell will try to help by extending his career-best goal-scoring run to five games. He's had a goal in each of his last two matchups with Tampa Bay.
Claude Giroux, the NHL leader with 37 points, is also seeking to match his longest point streak of the season. The center has three goals and five assists over his last four games but just one assist in his last four against Tampa Bay.
Lightning leading scorer Steven Stamkos has seven goals and two assists in his last six matchups with Philadelphia and recorded a hat trick during his team's most recent visit there, an 8-7 win Nov. 18, 2010.