Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Defenseman Kimmo Timonen registered the game- winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout, as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, at St. Pete Times Forum.
James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell, and Darroll Powe scored for the Flyers, who are the top team in the Eastern Conference and have won four of their last five games overall. Brian Boucher made 24 saves in the victory.
Teddy Purcell, Vinny Lecavalier and Dominic Moore tallied for Tampa Bay, which is hot on the Flyers' heels and only five points behind, but fell to 2-2-1 since a six-game win streak.
"This was a battle between two evenly-matched teams," said Tampa Bay's Randy Jones, a former Flyer.
Dwayne Roloson allowed three goals on 29 shots for the Lightning, who won three of the four meetings between these clubs this season.
This was the first game for newcomer Kris Versteeg, who was acquired by the Flyers on Monday from Toronto in exchange for two draft picks. Versteeg, who helped Chicago defeat Philadelphia in last June's Stanley Cup Finals, finished with two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 17-plus minutes of action.
In the seventh shootout round, Timonen used a double-deke move near the top of the crease for a goal before Boucher stopped Marty St. Louis' attempt and the Flyers skated off with the extra standings point.
"I wanted to come in at full speed, force (Roloson) to make the first move and then jam it in with the forehand," said Timonen.
The Flyers opened the scoring with 7:28 remaining in the first period. Strong forechecking by Jeff Carter deep in Philadelphia's offensive zone led to puck control by Claude Giroux. From along the rear boards, Giroux sent a blind backhand pass into the lower left slot area for van Riemsdyk, whose snap shot one-timer lit the lamp.
Tampa Bay tied the score less than one minute into the second stanza. From the right circle, Moore's wrister deflected off the skate of Flyers blueliner Andrej Meszaros. The change of speed and direction was enough to fool Boucher and the puck slid behind him at the 59-second mark.
At the 7:33 mark of the second, Hartnell's 18th goal -- this one on the power play -- put the Flyers back in front. From the right circle, van Riemsdyk released a wrist shot and Hartnell successfully redirected it past Roloson from the crease area near the right post.
Soon after, a tripping minor called on van Riemsdyk led to a goal for each team. While short-handed, Powe gained a breakaway and was hooked by Steve Stamkos, which led to a penalty shot. On the uncontested chance, Powe beat Roloson clean with a wrist shot at 8:48.
However, on the same Tampa power play, the hosts drew within 3-2 when Lecavalier successfully deflected home a wrist shot from the right point by Marc-Andre Bergeron at the 9:55 mark.
"This game had a playoff-type atmosphere -- it was very intense," said Lightning blueliner Mike Vernace. "It was a very good game between two good teams."
Less than a minute later, the Bolts knotted the score. Pavel Kubina, from above the right circle near the point, sent a pass across the slot for Purcell, who beat Boucher from the left side with 9:12 to play in the stanza.
Flyers defenseman Matt Carle played in his 200th game in a Philadelphia uniform...Lecavalier has scored at least one goal in each of his last four games (five total)...It was Moore's 10th goal...Roloson stopped 13 shots in the second period...The Flyers were 1-for-3 on the power play, while TB finished 1-for-4.