Ghost strikes twice, Flyers down Lightning


Photo: Steve Kuzma/Flyerdelphia

In a lot of cases this season, when the Flyers have needed a big goal, their rookie sensation has stepped up.

Shayne Gostisbehere entered Monday's game with 12 goals on the season, and all 12 had changed the lead in a game, either by tying things up or giving the Flyers the edge.

You can add two more to that total. Gostisbehere struck twice and helped lead the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers struggled out of the gate in the first period, looking sluggish and out of sync on an early power play. Just seconds after the power play expired, the Lightning took advantage of a scoring chance.

Ondrej Palat was in the right place to get an open look on Steve Mason from the slot and fired a wrist shot for the first goal of the game at 4:07.

The Flyers struggled on four other power-play chances in the first, but did hold the Lightning to three shots in the first period while taking nine of their own.

The Flyers responded in the second with one of their best periods of the season. They fired 22 shots on goal, as compared to five for the Lightning, and finally were able to cash in late.

On a tremendous shift by the line of Sam Gagner, Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl, the Flyers kept the pressure on and eventually a loose puck came right to Gostisbehere with a wide open net. The rookie defenseman buried it for his 13th goal of the season and the tying goal at 16:51.

Gostisbehere's 13th also tied Behn Wilson's franchise record for goals by a rookie defenseman. Shots through two periods of play were 31-8 Flyers.

In the third, a delay of game penalty on Nikita Nesterov gave the Flyers a golden opportunity to take the lead. Behn Wilson's record was broken soon after.

Gostisbehere fired a rocket past Andrei Vasilevskiy to give the Flyers the lead at 7:21 with his 14th goal of the season. It was also the rookie's first career two-goal game.

The Flyers would pad the lead with 6:03 remaining. A shot by Claude Giroux deflected off of Brayden Schenn then hit Steven Stamkos' leg before going in to give the Flyers a two-goal lead.

But the Lightning answered back just 56 seconds later with a goal by Vladislav Namestnikov to cut the lead back to one.

The Flyers turned on the pressure defensively from that point and didn't allow the Lightning a quality scoring chance. They would ice the game with an empty-net goal from Wayne Simmonds in the final minute.

Mason earned the win, making 16 saves in the game. Vasilevskiy was excellent as well, making 36 saves.

Along with Gostisbehere, Giroux, Schenn and Simmonds each had two-point games.

The Flyers move to within two points of a playoff spot with the win and claimed wins in five of the six games on the homestand. The win also snapped the Lightning's nine-game winning streak.

The Flyers now hit the road where they will take on the Lightning again on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Scoring Summary

1st Period
TB Ondrej Palat (11) Tyler Johnson, Slater Koekkoek 4:07
2nd Period
PHI Shayne Gostisbehere (13) Michael Raffl, Sean Couturier 16:51
3rd Period
PHI Shayne Gostisbehere (14) PP Claude Giroux, Mark Streit 7:21
PHI Brayden Schenn (22) Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds 13:57
TB Vladislav Namestnikov (11) Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov 14:53
PHI Wayne Simmonds (24) EN Brayden Schenn 19:33

Penalty Summary

1st Period
TB Jason Garrison 2:00 Holding 1:46
TB Vladislav Namestnikov 2:00 High-Sticking 5:07
PHI Claude Giroux 2:00 Hooking 7:51
TB Alex Killorn 2:00 Hooking 8:18
TB Nikita Nesterov 2:00 High-Sticking 18:57
2nd Period
PHI Radko Gudas 2:00 Holding 19:01
3rd Period
TB Nikita Nesterov 2:00 Delay of Game  6:11 

Game Statistics

  Lightning Flyers
Shots 18 40
Power Plays 0/2 1/5
Hits 26 36
Faceoff % 46% 54%
Giveaways 11 3
Takeaways 8 9
Blocked Shots 32 11
Penalty Minutes 10 4

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.