Flyers at Lightning – 6 p.m., CSN
Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.
After scoring just five goals in their first four games, the Flyers erupted for an exciting 7-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
The Flyers will need their offense to continue to click when they wrap up back-to-back games in Florida against the high-powered Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning, who have scored at least three goals in each of their first four games, enter Sunday tied for second in the NHL in goals for with 19.
Flyers: 2-3-0 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)
Lightning: 3-1-0 (First in Southeast Division, third in Eastern Conference)
In the last matchup between these two teams the Lightning had five different players – Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, J.T. Wyman and Tom Pyatt – register goals to beat the Flyers, 5-3, at Wells Fargo Center on March 26. Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and Scott Hartnell all found the back of the net for the Flyers and Kimmo Timonen collected his 400th career assist.
In the 2011-12 season series, the Flyers went 1-2-1 against the Lightning and were outscored 14-10 in the four contests.
Matt Read sparked the Flyers’ offense with his first career NHL hat trick in Saturday’s 7-1 rout of the Panthers. Newcomer Luke Schenn collected his first two points with the orange and black – a goal and an assist – and a game-high 11 hits. Ilya Bryzgalov continued to look sharp in goal, making 30 saves for his second win of the season.
The Lightning opened their five-game homestand with a 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. Stamkos had a goal and two assists while Malone tallied a pair of third-period markers for Tampa. Former Flyer Matt Carle, who signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Lightning in July, scored his first goal of the season.
Inside the box score
• Captain Claude Giroux and defenseman Braydon Coburn each had two assists in the Flyers’ win over the Panthers. Coburn was a game-best plus-3.
• Rookie Tye McGinn registered his first career NHL goal and assisted Ruslan Fedotenko’s third-period marker on Saturday.
• Mike Knuble began his second stint with the orange and black against Florida. The 40-year-old had three hits in over 14 minutes of ice time and picked up the secondary assist on McGinn’s tally.
Keep an eye on ...
Watch out for Stamkos.The 22-year-old notched 60 goals last season and finished second in the NHL in scoring with 97 points. He looks just as dangerous in the early going this year, as he has registered two goals and six assists in four games. In 16 career contests against the Flyers, Stamkos has 11 goals and five assists.
Lightning forward Cory Conacher (two goals, five assists) enters Sunday tied with Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues for the rookie lead in points with seven. The 23-year-old had 39 goals and 41 assists with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL in 2011-12.
Bryzgalov has started all five games for the Flyers thus far. He is 3-3-0-1 with a 2.80 goals against average and .869 save percentage in seven games against Tampa, but the Flyers could turn to Michael Leighton on Sunday.
Leighton last started in the NHL on Dec. 30, 2010 – a 7-4 Flyers’ win over the Los Angeles Kings. The 31-year-old is 4-0 with a 1.96 goals against average and .932 save percentage in his career against the Lightning.
Did you know?
The Lightning are 6-1-1 in their last eight games against the Flyers and have held the orange and black to one goal or less in three of their last four home games. The Flyers, however, lead the all-time series 41-27-8-3. Sunday will mark the first of three meetings between the two clubs in 2013.
Flyers: Danny Briere (left wrist) made his return to the Flyers’ lineup in Saturday’s win over Florida. He had one shot on net and two checks in 14 minutes of ice time.
Scott Hartnell is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken left foot on Friday.
Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) will be out for about a month.
Zac Rinaldo is unlikely to play against Tampa as he is still recovering from a laceration on his right thigh.
Lightning: Defenseman Mattias Ohlund (left knee surgery) is on Injured Reserve and is out indefinitely.
Who do you think will lead the Flyers in goals this season?
Flyers at Lightning – 6 p.m., CSN