NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, October 25th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Philadelphia 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Brad Richards notched two goals and an assist to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Jan Hlavac contributed three assists while Johan Holmqvist had 21 saves for the Lightning, who won for the second time in their last five games.
"We were ready to play," said Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. "I think a key part of our game tonight was other guys scoring, other guys making big plays other than our top line."
Jeff Carter and Mike Knuble scored for the Flyers, who have lost the first two games of their season-high, eight-game road trip.
Antero Niittymaki started his first game of the season between the pipes for Philadelphia and surrendered four goals on 25 shots.
"We knew it was going to be tough going on the road," said Flyers coach John Stevens. "We're playing teams that are fighting and scratching to get off to a good start and we're just gonna have to learn from tonight and get to work again here and get ready for Boston."
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead 6:50 into the first on Jason Ward's second goal of the season. From the top of the point, Filip Kuba cranked a slap shot that Ward redirected past Niittymaki.
A power-play goal by Richards at 9:27 gave the Lightning a two-goal lead. From the high slot, Richards took a pass from Chris Gratton and ripped a slap shot past the glove of Niittymaki.
Less than two minutes after Tampa went up by two, the Flyers got on the board on Carter's sixth goal. After a dump in behind the net, Holmqvist played the puck and left it for a defenseman, however, Carter scooped up the disc instead and put it into the open net.
Vaclav Prospal's power-play goal 3:38 into the second gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead. From the left boards, Richards controlled the puck and moved the disc to Prospal in front where he tipped it home.
Philadelphia pulled within a goal 3:46 into third on Knuble's goal. The veteran winger skated into the zone and from the right circle sent a slap shot past Holmqvist on the far side.
The Lightning regained their two-goal lead with 6:34 left in the contest as Gratton pounced on a loose puck in the left corner and quickly threw the puck in front, hitting off a Flyers defenseman and then Michele Ouellet before going past Niittymaki.
With just under two minutes left, Niittymaki headed to the bench for an extra skater but Richards sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:11 left.
The Lightning have won 12 of their past 13 meetings with the Flyers...Prospal has eight goals in eight games this season...Tampa Bay matched a franchise record set in 2002 by beginning the season 5-0 at home...Flyers forward Simon Gagne did not play after experiencing dizziness from a hit in Wednesday's contest against Florida. He is possible for Saturday's game in Boston. Stefan Ruzicka was recalled from the Phantoms of the American Hockey League to take Gagne's spot on the roster. Philadelphia was also without defenseman Derian Hatcher, who did not play due to a knee injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Rory Fitzpatrick.
10/25 23:16:55 ET