January 26, 2018 / 3:02 AM / 9 months ago

League-leading Lightning blow past Flyers, 5-1

EditorsNote: fixes to “three times” in 13th graf

Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals while Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde and Ryan Callahan each scored once to lift the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Lightning own the National Hockey League’s best points total, 71.

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots in a brilliant performance.

Despite a pregame lift with Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson dropping an honorary puck before the game, the Flyers weren’t able to muster much offense.

Travis Konecny did score a third-period goal for Philadelphia.

Defenseman Ivan Provorov led the Flyers with five shots through the first two periods, but most came near the blue line.

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth struggled a bit and wasn’t able to help the Flyers head into the All-Star break with five straight wins. Instead, the streak ended at four. Neuvirth made 17 saves.

Trailing 3-0, the Flyers attempted to get on the board with a power play early in the third period. Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier each had solid chances on rebounds in front, but Vasilevskiy was able to cover up the puck.

Then with 9:30 remaining, Claude Giroux redirected a shot in front only to be denied by Vasilevskiy, who was completely sprawled out on the ice.

In a bit of a bizarre move, the Flyers pulled Neuvirth with 7:20 left.

The unorthodox decision paid off as Konecny scored with 6:42 remaining, the fourth straight game he has put the puck in the net.

The Lightning, however, struck back 47 seconds later with Namestnikov scoring for a 4-1 lead.

After a scoreless first period in which Tampa Bay managed only three shots, the Lightning came out much more aggressive and scored three times on 10 shots in the second.

Just 25 seconds in, Point notched his 20th goal of the season for a 1-0 lead. At 9:56, Gourde registered his 17th goal for two-goal advantage. Gourde has now scored in three straight games.

Callahan gave the Lightning a 3-0 lead with a nifty set of moves for a short-handed goal at 17:29, snapping a 28-game goalless streak. The Flyers have allowed eight short-handed goals this season, which is the same amount the Lightning have scored.

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