The Tampa Bay Lightning ended their early season homestand with a loss against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. The Rangers held the top-scoring offense in the league to only one goal, and Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers was more of the same. The Flyers are missing some key components due to injury; Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros are just three of the injured members of the Flyers.
Not to mention former captain and future Hall of Famer, Chris Pronger, who is still recovering from post-concussion syndrome.
The Bolts began a four-game roadtrip that started in Philly and the gritty Flyers were too tough for Tampa Bay. The tone was set early in the game when a fight broke out between Tampa Bay’s BJ Crombeen and Zac Rinaldo. The fight did not end well for Crombeen and although Rinaldo got in a cheap shot while Crombeen was down, the scrappy Flyer played a fantastic game after the fight and provided a spark for Philadelphia.
Ilya Bryzgalov has been under constant scrutiny in the early part of the season, but against the Lightning he was nearly perfect. A glove save against Cory Conacher saved a certain goal and it was obvious Bryzgalov was in a zone. The Bolts were held to only 22 shots and very few real scoring chances. The second period reared its ugly head for the Lightning once again as Tampa Bay recorded only five shots in the stanza, and gave up a goal.
Tom Sestito was the hero for the Flyers on Tuesday night. Sestito scored two goals against the Lightning and fooled Bolts’ goalie Anders Lindback twice on the same move. Forehand-backhand-five hole.
Tampa Bay scored their lone goal in the third period off the stick of Benoit Pouliot and although the tie was relieving for the hard-working Bolts it was short-lived as Sestito grabbed the lead for the Flyers with nine minutes left in the game.
Tampa Bay (6-3-0) will play next against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night in Newark, New Jersey. Philadelphia (4-6-0) will host the Florida Panthers on Thursday as well.