Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lightning split two road games

The Tampa Bay Lightning opened a stretch of 6 games in 8 away from home, by splitting a pair of games to start this week.

On Monday, Philadelphia cruised to a 6-2 win. The Flyers led 2-0 after one, on goals by Mike Richards at 8:29 and a power play marker by Scott Hartnell at 19:15. Jeff Carter scored at 3:30 of the second to put Philadelphia up 3-0. The Lightning responded with a goal by Steven Stamkos at 5:18 to trail 3-1, but then gave up two goals in less than a minute. David Laliberte scored at 6:24 and Mike Richards at 6:59, giving the Flyers a 5-1 lead after two. Jeff Carter scored on the power play, his second goal of the game at 8:56 of the third to make it 6-1 Philadelphia, before a Tampa Bay goal by Jeff Halpern at 14:57 made the final 6-2. The Flyers outshot the Lightning 31-28. Ray Emery had 26 saves for Philadelphia, while starter Mike Smith and former Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki split time in the Tampa Bay net, combining for 25 saves for the Lightning. The Flyers, 7-4-1 on the season, were 2-for-4 on the power play, Tampa Bay 0-for-2. Attendance at the Wachovia Center was 18,667.

The Air Canada Centre was the scene for a Tuesday match between the Lightning and the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs. Vinny Lecavalier's second goal of the season, a put-back of a rebound at 18:34 of the second, gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes. Ian White tied it for the Leafs at 5:04 of the third with a power play goal. Then, in overtime, Ryan Malone batted the puck out of mid-air and into the net at 2:21 of the extra session, giving the Lightning their first road win of the season in six road games, 2-1. The loss was Toronto's third straight in overtime, kept them winless at home at 0-4-2, and dropped their season record to 1-7-5. The Leafs outshot Tampa Bay 41-32. Antero Niittymaki made 40 saves for the Lightning, Jonas Gustavsson had 30 stops for Toronto. Tampa Bay was 0-for-4 on the power play and 7-of-8 obn the penalty kill.

The Lightning are now 5-4-4 for 14 points, good for second place in the Southeast Division, 6 points behind leader Washington, 1 point ahead of third place Atlanta. Tampa Bay continues their week-long road swing with a 7:30 EST Thursday game at Ottawa and a 7:00 EST Saturday game at Montreal. Both games can be heard on 620 WDAE and seen on Sun Sports. The Lightning return home to host Minnesota on Thursday, November 12th and Los Angeles on Saturday, November 14th. Both games at the St. Pete Times Forum start at 7:30p.m. EST.

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