Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stamkos, Lightning subdue Flyers; Hextall announces Colaiacovo signing

Tampa, FL -- Steven Stamkos collected two goals with one assist, Jason Garrison added a deciding power-play tally late in the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning escaped with a 4-3 decision over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Vladislav Namestnikov also lit the lamp and Valtteri Filppula contributed three assists for the Lightning, winners in four of their last five. Ben Bishop aided the effort with 24 saves.

Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl picked up a goal each for the Flyers, whose three-game win streak came to an end. Claude Giroux netted two assists and Ray Emery stopped 28 shots in the loss.

Those who witnessed the opener of the club's Florida road trip barely had time to shake off the cobwebs from seeing another Sunshine State defeat, before news broke that free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was under contract.

The 31-year-old, oft-injured rearguard appeared in just 25 games for the Blues last season, his 10th NHL campaign, and is essentially coming in cold. It remains to be seen just how quickly he can be brought up to speed, but with the Phantoms' roulette in full swing between Brandon Manning and Shayne Gostisbehere, there's a temporary solution to the temporary solution.

Despite a rare positive officiating move where Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas was called for roughing Giroux at the close of the second period, the Orange and Black failed to draw even with a full two-minute power play at the outset of the third.

Stamkos eventually put the Lightning up by a 3-1 count with 5 1/2 minutes elapsed in the third, waiting in the left circle for Filppula to skate behind the enemy cage and slip a cross-ice pass for a blistering one-timer.

Voracek, however, pulled his team back within a goal on a rebound attempt atop the crease 68 seconds later. The shot came from Manning, who picked up his third career point with the primary assist.

Garrison's laser from the point on a late Tampa man advantage gave it a 4-2 edge but Raffl's shot in close with 53.5 on the clock and Emery pulled made it a one-goal contest again.

Bishop had to be sharp down the stretch, turning away open chances from Giroux and Mark Streit in the late going to preserve the winning margin.

Namestnikov's tip of an Anton Stralman point blast found the back of the net just 3 1/2 minutes in. Though the goal was not reviewed, certain replays seemed to indicate the puck rolled just outside the zone before the shot was taken.

Simmonds evened the score as the clock ticked down to seven minutes left, potting a Pierre-Edouard Bellemare rebound from the right post.

After failing to click on two chances with the advantage in the second period, Stamkos whipped a shot through traffic from the outer portion of the left circle to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead with 45.7 seconds left.

Notes: The Bolts improved to 8-0-1 in their last nine at home against the Flyers and have outscored Philly 35-16 during that stretch ... Stamkos recorded his 47th career game of two-or-more tallies ...  Voracek became the first Flyer to record four consecutive multi-point games since Simon Gagne recorded five
consecutive multi-point games from Feb. 8-17, 2007 ... Colaiacovo had 144 points in 401 NHL appearances for the Maple Leafs, Red Wings and Blues.
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