Flyers at Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won three of four games to start the season and stand among the league leaders in scoring with 19 goals. The Lightning look to continue their early success when the Philadelphia Flyers visit on Sunday. Tampa Bay is 6-1-1 in the last eight games versus the Flyers and will get the benefit of hosting their second straight opponent who is at the end of back-to-back contests. The Lightning scored three unanswered goals in the third period to post a 6-4 win over Ottawa on Friday.
The Flyers awoke on Saturday to hammer the Florida Panthers 7-1 in Sunrise, recording two more goals than they did in the first four games combined. Philadelphia, which has lost defenseman Andrej Meszaros and left wing Scott Hartnell for at least a month with injuries, did get skillful forward Danny Briere back from a fractured wrist on Saturday.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN (Philadelphia), SunSports (Tampa).
ABOUT THE FLYERS (2-3-0): Philadelphia, which was second in the league in scoring a season ago, finally got its offense cranked up. Matt Read registered his first career hat trick and Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and an assist for his first points in his second stint with the Flyers. Captain Claude Giroux is the go-to player for the Flyers and he delivered his first multiple-point game of the season with a pair of assists. Philadelphia can’t expect to produce seven goals every night. The Flyers will need their defense to come together. Blue-liner Luke Schenn had 11 hits against Florida and is plus-3 thus far. Ilya Bryzgalov has played every game this season.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (3-1-0): Tampa Bay has outscored its opponents 16-2 in the first and third periods combined, while getting swamped in the second, 10-3. The Lightning have made a bad habit of getting away from their relentless style in the middle frame. The Lightning have also surrendered an average of 36.5 shots, close to the most in the league. Their key performers are putting up numbers, especially in the third - led by Steven Stamkos (two goals, six assists) and Martin St. Louis (three, four). Rookie Cory Conacher has at least a point in every game and seven in all. Anders Lindback (.900 save percentage) is expected back in net.
1. D Sami Salo, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, has three assists and is a plus-8 for the Lightning.
2. The Flyers had two power-play goals against Florida, matching their total the first four games.
3. Tampa Bay is fourth in the league in faceoff percentage (53.4) so far after finishing 23rd last season.