The Tampa Bay Lightning dispatched of the local hockey club by
a final of 5-1 on Sunday night. Their aggressive penalty kill pestered, frustrated,
and shut out Philadelphia’s power play, while their defense did a nice job
limiting good scoring opportunities in general. As for the quality chances the Flyers did get, opposing netminder Anders Lindback was up to the
task, all except for one fluky goal in the tilt’s opening 59 seconds.
The Lightning also succeeded in getting under the Flyers’
skin a little bit, and right from the jump at that. And for a short time it
seemed as though that might bode well – at least while Luke Schenn was bashing
away at Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier’s face with a 1-0 nothing lead.
Lecavalier landed a solid hit on Kimmo Timonen in the neutral zone
early in the first period, to which Schenn took exception. Before you knew
it, the gloves were off, and Schenn’s left hand was connecting with Lecavalier’s
face like some sort of piston. You gotta give Lecavalier some credit here, as
it was his first fight since 2009, but he was definitely in way over his head.
Naturally Lecavalier and the Lightning had the last laugh.
A short time after the brawl, Tampa Bay would kill off a four-minute power play, followed
by an undisciplined unsportsmanlike penalty against Wayne Simmonds amidst a
chippy atmosphere. The ensuing advantage opened the flood gates, with Lecavlier
helping to pour it on by netting the goal to make it 3-1.
The hostility appeared to subside from that point on – Philly's edge along with it.
This was another ugly game for the Flyers, and the Lightning seem
to have their number these days. It was the second half of a back-to-back
however, and Michael Leighton got the call in net in order to preserve Ilya Bryzgalov
for Tuesday’s date with the New York Rangers, the latter of which may have played a part in the end result. Perhaps a bit of an uninspired
effort was to be expected to a certain extent.
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