The red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning go after their franchise record-tying ninth straight win on home ice and 11th in 12 games overall when they host the inconsistent Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The Lightning pulled away in the third period for a 3-1 victory over Montreal on Thursday as captain Steven Stamkos registered his third multi-goal performance of the season with a pair.
Nikita Kucherov set up Stamkos’ first goal to extend his point streak to eight contests and leads the league with 52 points while Tyler Johnson is riding a 10-game streak during which he has scored five times and recorded 10 assists. The Lightning own a 16-2-1 record at Amalie Arena and begin a five-game road trip after taking on the Flyers, who dropped a 3-2 decision at Florida on Thursday for their third straight loss (0-2-1) following a stretch during which they won seven of eight. Captain Claude Giroux notched his ninth assist during a six-game point streak in Thursday’s setback, but the Flyers could not climb all the way back from a 3-0 deficit. Sean Couturier recorded his team-leading 17th tally in the loss for Philadelphia, which has managed just 14 goals in its last seven contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TVA, NBCSN Philadelphia, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (15-14-8): Jakub Voracek has been kept off the scoresheet in the last two games but leads the team with 36 assists and 44 points - one better than Giroux. Scott Laughton snapped his six-game goal-scoring drought with his sixth tally of the season on Thursday while defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a Florida native, has notched six points in as many contests. Brian Elliott made his 12th straight start on Thursday, dropping to 7-4-1 in that span, which could give backup Michal Neuvirth (2-5-1) his first appearance since Nov. 28.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (27-7-2): Brayden Point scored his 15th goal on Thursday to draw within three of his total from his rookie season in 2016-17 and is tied for second on the team with Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov. Defenseman Victor Hedman also is making a major push for his first Norris Trophy of late with two goals, seven assists and a plus-13 rating over his last seven contests. Blue-liner Anton Stralman, who leads the league with a plus-24 rating, missed Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
1. Tampa Bay RW Cory Conacher has logged fewer than nine minutes of ice time in four of his last five games but posted an assist in two of those contests.
2. Philadelphia RW Wayne Simmonds (11 goals) has been kept off the scoresheet in seven of his last eight contests.
3. The Flyers are 4-2-1 in their last seven meetings with the Lightning but dropped two of the three matchups last season.
PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Flyers 3