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Flyers try to keep home momentum going

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 11:50 AM

Associated Press

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Flyers try to keep home momentum going
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (3-6-0--6pts)
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-2-0–12pts)

TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic

This is the second of three meetings between the Flyers and Lightning, including the only one on home ice for the Flyers… The Flyers dropped a 5-1 decision in Tampa on Jan. 27 as Martin St. Louis had four assists and the Lightning recorded five unanswered goals… The Flyers have three players out of the line-up (Hartnell, Simmonds, Meszaros), while the Lightning currently have no injured players…  The Flyers are 2-6-1 against Tampa Bay in their last nine meetings dating back to November of 2010… The Flyers have an even 5-5-0 record in the last five season at home against Tampa Bay… Overall, the Flyers are 41-28-8-3 in 79 games against the Lightning.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are 5-1-0 when scoring the first goal of the game, and in the first period, have out-scored their opponent 13-3… They are a perfect 6-0-0 when leading after the first so far this year… Two of the Flyers three wins so far have come when they lead after the first period, however the Flyers have been outscored 11-7 in the first period.

Tampa Bay has the NHL's best power-play at 36.1 percent (13-for-36), however they have just one power-play goal on the road, going 1-for-9… The Flyers power play at home is 36.4 percent, which is fourth best in the league (4-for-11)… The Flyers continue to lead the league in minor penalties (53) and in overall PIM (174)… This is the third of fifth straight games the Flyers are playing against Southeast Division opponents… They are 2-2-0 against the SE Division so far this season… Tonight will mark the first trip back to Philadelphia for defenseman Matt Carle, who played four seasons with the Flyers recording 137 points (15g-122a) in 308 regular season games… Claude Giroux has taken 217 faceoffs this season, which leads the league, and has a 53.2 faceoff percentage.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Matt Read
Matt Read is again tonight's player to watch because of a few reasons. One: Read leads the Flyers in scoring with seven points (3g-4a) in nine games. Two: Read has scored all seven of his points in his last six games, posting at least a point in four of those games, including each of his last two games.

5. Player to watch LIGHTNING: Steven Stamkos
The 22-year-old former No. 1 overall pick is off to the best start of his career after recording a point in every game so far this season, posting 16 points for an eight-game point streak where he has seven goals and nine assists… During that streak he also has a five-game goal-scoring streak and, of the eight games, he has posted six multi-point games… His 16 points rank second overall in the NHL… Against the Flyers, Stamkos recorded a goal and an assist in the team's 5-1 win on Jan. 27, and overall has 12 goals and 18 points in 17 career games against Philadelphia.

"The next few games we have are at home, so we have to make sure we come out fast. We got off to a couple of slow starts in games. That has to change and tomorrow's a good way to do it."
- Kimmo Timonen

The Tampa Bay Lightning may be coming off their worst offensive performance of the season by their standards, but Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis are major reasons they're the highest scoring team in the NHL.

Just over a week ago, the Philadelphia Flyers fell victim to that potent offense yet again.

Stamkos and St. Louis look to continue their respective scoring tears with another strong performance against the Flyers, as the Lightning attempt to maintain their dominant stretch in this series Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay (6-2-0) is scoring 4.9 goals per game, leading the league by more than a goal.

Stamkos and St. Louis have keyed that tremendous production with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Stamkos, who led the NHL with a career-high and franchise-record 60 goals last season, has a point in every game so far and has six goals and five assists in a five-game goal-scoring streak.

St. Louis has nine assists during a five-game point streak of his own, and he got four of them in a 5-1 win over the Flyers (3-6-0) on Jan. 27, while Stamkos had a goal and an assist.

Stamkos got two more goals Saturday, but the Lightning fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers, concluding a 4-1-0 homestand while being held below three goals for the first time this season.

"You look at the big picture, if you said we would have taken eight of a possible 10 points, we'd take that all the time," Stamkos said.

Tampa Bay now embarks on its first extended trip of the season, playing four games in six days, and starting it against the Flyers may be just what it needs.

The Lightning are 7-1-1 in the last nine matchups, going 3-1-0 in Philadelphia while scoring 18 goals.

Stamkos certainly enjoys playing the Flyers, scoring 12 goals with six assists in 17 games, with four of those goals in the past three contests.

St. Louis has 21 points in the past 11 matchups, and 33 in 20 career regular-season visits to Philadelphia - 10 coming in the past four. He had a career high-tying five points - all assists - in an 8-7 win there Nov. 18, 2010.

The Flyers are hoping they've begun solving their scoring issues after winning 5-3 against Carolina on Saturday, ending a four-game slide during which they totaled four goals. They rank toward the bottom of the league with 2.3 goals per game.

"We need some more presence in front of the net, trying to find some loose pucks and getting to the gritty areas," said center Danny Briere, who got his first goal of the season Saturday. "That's what the coaches have talked about."

Production on the power play surely helps. The unit scored on all three opportunities against the Hurricanes after going 5 for 40 over the first eight games.

"The power play, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't," center Claude Giroux said. "It's just about making the right plays. When everybody on the ice knows what they're doing, it makes things easier."

Giroux is looking to build on his goal and assist - both on the man-advantage - from Saturday after totaling two points over the previous six games. However, he has just five assists in the past nine meetings with Tampa Bay.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 18 '13 PHI 2 at TBL 4 T. Purcell
Feb 05 '13 TBL 1 at PHI 2 T. Sestito
Jan 27 '13 PHI 1 at TBL 5 E. Brewer
S. Stamkos97916+3830
M. St. Louis931114+2021
C. Conacher95712+7612
V. Lecavalier94711+31430
T. Purcell92810+4210
B. Pouliot9336+5400
T. Pyatt9336+5601
M. Carle9156+1210
R. Malone9415+0811
E. Brewer9325+4811
V. Hedman9235+10000
S. Salo9055+11200
K. Aulie9112-22000
D. Tyrell5112+0400
B. Crombeen9022+33000
A. Hall9022+11600
N. Thompson9101+1400
M. Bergeron2011+1000
B. Mikkelson1011+1000
B. Lee8000-71000
P. Labrie2000-1500
A. Lindback75-2-0192162.73.912
M. Garon21-1-04662.03.939
M. Read10347+2211
C. Giroux10336+1820
W. Simmonds8235+12710
K. Timonen10145+2810
J. Voracek10145-5411
B. Schenn9145+2500
S. Couturier10224-4000
R. Fedotenko10123+1400
B. Coburn10123-12400
K. Foster7123+2210
T. McGinn7123+2900
D. Briere6123-1210
M. Talbot10033+11700
T. Sestito5202+21201
L. Schenn10112+21100
M. Knuble6112-1601
B. Gervais8101-3200
N. Grossmann10011-1800
S. Hartnell3011+01300
Z. Rinaldo6000-12400
S. Laughton5000+0000
E. Wellwood4000+0000
A. Meszaros4000-1000
J. Shelley1000+0000
A. Lilja1000-1000
I. Bryzgalov94-5-0202602.24.923
M. Leighton10-1-05265.08.808
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