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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 5th (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-2-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (3-6-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After finishing off a near-perfect homestand, the Tampa Bay Lightning next embark on a four-game road trip, a tough swing that begins on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Lightning took the first four of their season-long five-game residency, pushing their overall winning streak to five straight with an 8-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. That also had Tampa Bay perfect through its first five home games of the season, but both streaks ended the following night with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
Steven Stamkos' second goal of the game came with 21 seconds left, but the Lightning fell to 6-2-0 with their first setback since Jan. 21.
Afterwards, Stamkos tried not to the let the loss dampen the overall success of the stay in Tampa.
"You look at the big picture. If you said you would have taken eight of a possible 10 points, you would take that all the time," he said. "It's just frustrating because we realize the team that we have here. No one goes into a game expecting to lose. We expect to win."
Those are warranted expectations thanks to Stamkos, who has at least one point in all eight games this season. He has seven goals and 16 points in that span, with a goal in five straight.
Tampa Bay is set to visit Philadelphia, New Jersey and Boston before ending its road trip with a rematch versus the Rangers on Feb. 10. The Bolts should have forward Vincent Lecavalier on the ice for Tuesday's opener after he suffered a left bone bruise in the final moments of Saturday's game. He took a slap shot off his foot but said he expects to play.
Anders Lindback is scheduled to make his seventh start of the season on Tuesday after Mathieu Garon allowed three goals on 30 shots in the loss to the Rangers. Garon was making his second start of the season and first since Jan. 22.
Lindback, meanwhile, has gone 5-1-0 with a 2.84 goals against average and .911 save percentage this season. That includes 24 saves in a decisive 5-1 win over visiting Philadelphia on Jan. 27.
Stamkos had a goal and an assist, Lecavalier scored and Martin St. Louis ended with four assists for the Lightning, who have won three straight and seven of their last nine versus the Flyers.
They have also claimed three of their past four in Philadelphia.
Sean Couturier scored the lone goal of the game for the Flyers, who were coming off a 7-1 thrashing of Florida. Backup Michael Leighton gave up all five goals on 26 shots.
That loss began a three-game losing streak for Philadelphia, a skid that was halted on Saturday with a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere both had a goal and an assist, while Ilya Bryzgalov made 39 saves.
Mike Knuble, Kurtis Foster and Braydon Coburn added goals for the Flyers, who scored on all three of their power-play chances to improve to just 3-6-0 on the season.
"Early in the season, it seemed our starts were not where we wanted to," Briere said. "Tonight, it was very good. Overall, that first period was much better."
While Giroux netted his first goal in six games, the other four goal-scorers for the Flyers all potted their first of the season.
Philadelphia surpassed its goal total from its losing streak (4) despite playing without forward Wayne Simmonds, who suffered a concussion when he took an elbow to the head from Washington's John Erskine in Friday's loss to the Capitals. Erskine was suspended three games for the hit.
Simmonds has been ruled out for this game.
02/05 10:39:53 ET
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