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game recap

Philadelphia Flyers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 4 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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Philadelphia Flyers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 4 FINAL
Philadelphia Flyers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 4

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ One more victory and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be bound for the Stanley Cup finals.

With Brad Richards scoring twice on the power play and Nikolai Khabibulin stopping 28 shots, the Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 Tuesday night to move to the brink of winning the Eastern Conference title.

``The whole team really came out exceptionally hard and relentless in the first period. We played with a lot more desperation and passion,'' Richards said. ``That got everybody going. It so happened I scored two goals, but it was a big effort by everybody.''

Ruslan Fedotenko scored a third power-play goal, and Tim Taylor added an empty-netter off a pass from NHL scoring champion Martin St. Louis to ensure Tampa Bay would take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Philadelphia, where the Flyers are 7-1 in the playoffs after splitting Games 3 and 4. Game 7, if necessary, will be Saturday night in Tampa.

``Of course we want to try to finish it, but I think some other people over there in Philly have some other idea about it,'' Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. ``I think it's just been a fantastic series.''

Neither team has been able to put together consecutive wins. The Flyers were dominant in victories in Games 2 and 4, and the Lightning were equally impressive in taking the first, third and fifth games.

``We stress all the time how resilient our group is and we'll dig deep again,'' Philadelphia captain Keith Primeau said. ``We'll rally together and find a way. What makes our team special is we're going to push until there's no more pushing.''

Khabibulin recovered from a shaky stretch in which he gave up two goals within 38 seconds to stand tall for Tampa Bay down the stretch. He stopped 15 shots _ half the number the Flyers attempted all night _ in the third period.

Primeau was virtually a one-man wrecking crew in the two games in Philadelphia, winning Game 4 with a short-handed goal and setting the tone for the physical play that the Flyers hope will take its toll on the smaller Lightning as the series moves into the late stages.

The Lightning felt if they were going to gain the upper hand, they had to find a way to slow down the Philadelphia star without getting away from their game, which is predicated on speed and controlling the puck, rather than outmuscling opponents.

Feeding off the energy of a sellout crowd of 21,517, Tampa Bay outshot the Flyers 18-8 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead when Fedotenko tapped in a rebound after Philadelphia goaltender Robert Esche rejected Dan Boyle's shot from the point.

``That was one of the better periods we've had in the playoffs,'' Tortorella said.

Richards scored from the left circle just 24 seconds into the second period, then made it 3-0 when he beat Esche after Vincent Lecavalier won a faceoff against Primeau in the Flyers' defensive zone.

Cory Stillman slipped a pass to Richards in the slot, and the Tampa Bay center scored a mere three seconds into the power play.

But just when it looked like the game might be drifting out of reach, the Flyers scored twice on Khabibulin within 38 seconds with Michal Handzus redeeming himself for being in the penalty box when Richards gave Tampa Bay its three-goal lead.

Handzus scored just under nine minutes into the second period, and Patrick Sharp, assisted by Primeau, added his first career playoff goal to trim the Lightning lead to 3-2. That left the Flyers with more than 30 minutes to make up the rest of the deficit, but they couldn't.

The Flyers pulled Esche with a minute to go, and Taylor scored his empty-net goal with 14.3 seconds left.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:30
TBL
PPG - Ruslan Fedotenko (6) ASST: Dan Boyle (6), Darryl Sydor (6)
1 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
00:24
TBL
PPG - Brad Richards (7) ASST: Dave Andreychuk (6), Pavel Kubina (4)
2 - 0 TBL
07:12
TBL
PPG - Brad Richards (8) ASST: Cory Stillman (4), Vincent Lecavalier (4)
3 - 0 TBL
08:56
PHI
Michal Handzus (5) ASST: Tony Amonte (5), John Leclair (2)
3 - 1 TBL
09:34
PHI
Patrick Sharp (1) ASST: Keith Primeau (5), Donald Brashear (3)
3 - 2 TBL
3rd Period
19:45
TBL
EN - Tim Taylor (2) ASST: Martin St. Louis (10), Dave Andreychuk (7)
4 - 2 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
03:54
PHI
Donald Brashear  Roughing
03:54
TBL
Andre Roy  Roughing
04:14
TBL
Darryl Sydor  Hooking - Obstruction
09:14
PHI
Mattias Timander  Hooking
18:53
PHI
Mark Recchi  Roughing
18:53
TBL
Martin St. Louis  Roughing
19:49
TBL
Dan Boyle  Roughing
19:49
PHI
Vladimir Malakhov  Roughing
19:49
PHI
Keith Primeau  Cross checking
2nd Period
07:09
PHI
Michal Handzus  Holding
12:28
PHI
Kim Johnsson  Cross checking
13:04
TBL
Dave Andreychuk  Tripping
18:56
TBL
Dave Andreychuk  Tripping
20:00
PHI
John Leclair  Roughing
20:00
TBL
Nolan Pratt  Roughing
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Robert Esche
SA: 30TOI: 59:16
Saves: 27EV: 22 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 8
SV%: .900SH: 0 - 0
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 30TOI: 59:46
Saves: 28EV: 27 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .933SH: 0 - 0
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