Tampa, FL (Sports Network) – Steven Stamkos netted a pair of goals and Mathieu Garon stopped 31-of-32 shots as Tampa Bay bested Philadelphia, 5-1.
Bruno Gervais, Steve Downie and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who had dropped two in a row and four of six coming in but dented Philly netminder Ilya Bryzgalov for five goals on just 16 shots.
“It was huge. We talked about what kind of game it was going to be, how strong offensively they were and how we needed to take away their time and space,” Stamkos said. “It wasn’t pretty out there but we’ll take the win and hopefully it will lead to something good from here.”
Scott Hartnell’s first-period goal was the lone offense for the Flyers, who have lost four of their last five.
The Bolts assumed the lead for good at 7:25 of the second, as Stamkos potted a Brett Clark rebound, then went up 3-1 on a power play with 8:19 on the clock as Downie was alone at the left side to corral an errant Pavel Kubina shot and slide it into an open net.
Stamkos added another tally from the left side with 1:15 remaining, a man- advantage score at the left side of the crease off a Downie pass.
Martin St. Louis hit Lecavalier with a perfect pass and the veteran flipped his shot just under the crossbar in the final minute of regulation to cap the scoring.
“What’s frustrating is we didn’t score any goals on all those chances,” Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr said. “It pretty much looked like nothing went our way. Two weeks ago, everything went our way. But that’s the nature of the business.”
Garon kept the game scoreless at the 6 1/2-minute mark of the opening period when he dove head-first and closed off the right post to muffle Hartnell’s backhanded breakaway chance.
Tampa got the jump just prior to the midway point when Adam Hall won a right- circle faceoff and Gervais floated a shot from the boards that eluded Bryzgalov to the near post.
Philly tied the game with 1:46 remaining. Claude Giroux intentionally shot the puck wide to Garon’s left, then found the rebound back in front and fired on the net. The shot caromed right to Hartnell on the right side for the easy score.
Tampa Bay hadn’t swept Philadelphia at home since the 2005-06 season…Stamkos notched his 27th career two-goal game and his first since Dec. 12 against the Devils…Lightning defenseman Viktor Hedman left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return…The Flyers welcomed back forwards Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn to the lineup…Briere missed one game with a hand injury and Schenn had been sidelined with a concussion since December 3…Hartnell has posted at least one point in 10 of the last 12 games.