Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Pavel Kubina netted the game-winning score early in the third period to back 24 saves from Dan Ellis as Tampa Bay clipped Philadelphia, 3-2.
Steven Stamkos added a goal and Dominic Moore also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who have opened the season with three straight wins for the first time since 2007-08.
Former Flyer and current Lightning forward Simon Gagne made his return to Philadelphia, where he played from 1999-2010. He recorded one shot in just over 19 minutes of action.
Danny Briere and Nikolay Zherdev scored for the Flyers, who saw their first regulation loss of the year after starting the season 2-0-1.
Brian Boucher allowed three goals on 24 shots in the loss.
A one-goal Tampa edge became two at the 1:27 mark of the third period when a long shot from Kubina at the right point sailed through traffic and between Boucher’s pads for a 3-1 game.
The Flyers, though, got back within a goal when Briere fired home a turnaround wrister from the left circle at 9:59.
Philadelphia successfully killed off two Lightning power plays in the latter stages of regulation, but failed to net an equalizer with an extra skater in the final 1:32 of the contest.
Tampa Bay killed off a two-man disadvantage within the game’s first four minutes, and Ellis was able to withstand more Flyers chances until his teammates registered the first goal of the contest.
Stamkos was credited with the score, coming with 4:49 left to play in the first, shoveling home the rebound of a Steve Downie shot from the left side.
Just under three minutes remained in the first when James van Riemsdyk dished from the left wing to the right side in front of the crease, where Zherdev redirected the puck with his leg while being pushed from behind.
Ellis stoned Mike Richards on a shorthanded break in the first minute of the second period, but the Bolts were also unable to capitalize on a 5-on-3 minutes later.
Moore did put the visitors ahead at the 14:49 mark, when his tip of an Adam Hall pass barely made it through Boucher’s pads and over the goal line.
The Flyers had won all four meetings last season and six of the previous seven prior to Thursday…Gagne posted 259 goals and 265 assists in 664 games with the Flyers from 1999-2010…He added 32 goals and 47 points in 90 playoff tilts, and scored two big overtime goals for the club (Game 6 of the 2004 ECF against Tampa Bay; Game 4 2010 ECSF against Boston)…Zherdev’s tally was his first regular-season score as a Flyer as well as his 100th career goal…Downie and Martin St. Louis each posted two helpers for Tampa.