TAMPA, Fla. – Dwayne Roloson and the Tampa Bay Lightning passed a major mid-season test.
Roloson made 38 saves for his fourth shutout this season, Teddy Purcell scored two early first period goals, and the Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 on Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.
“I think it’s one of those things, you cherish the moment, but at the same time we’ve got to forget about it,” Roloson said. “We’ve got another big game on Friday against Washington.”
All four of Roloson’s shutouts have come in 11 games since the Lightning obtained the 41-year old from the New York Islanders on New Year’s Day. Tampa Bay went up 2-0 just 1:21 into the game on Purcell’s first career two-goal game.
“I don’t think it’s a roll,” Roloson said. “I just think that the team is playing great. I’m fortunate enough to be making the best of an opportunity.”
Steven Stamkos, getting his NHL-leading 39th goal of the season, and Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have a six-game winning streak. Tampa Bay, which has won all three games against the Flyers this season, trails the conference leaders by two points.
“You can’t beat a team like that if you don’t have everybody on the same page,” Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said.
The Lightning have missed the playoffs each of the last three seasons, and haven’t won a post-season series since winning the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 2004.
Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots during the first, and was replaced by Brian Boucher. Philadelphia lost for just the third time in the last 13 games.
“When you’re down 2-0 on two shots, I think it surprised everybody,” Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said.
Purcell scored from the slot at 19 seconds off give-and-go passes with Vincent Lecavalier. Simon Gagne’s shot, 1:02 later, went into the net off Purcell’s leg.
“I don’t think we were out of sorts in the first,” Flyers captain Mike Richards said. “I just thought they were very opportunistic. Gave them, probably, too many scoring chances. It’s just one of those games, I guess.”
Purcell has three goals and seven points in his past three games.
Roloson, coming off a 2-0 shutout of Toronto, stopped all 13 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes. He also made four saves early in the third, including an in-close chance by James Van Riemsdyk.
“He’s been our backbone back there,” Purcell said.
Downie made it 3-0 from at 14:24 of the first. Stamkos extended the Tampa Bay advantage to 4-0 with 11:09 left in the third.
The Lightning have started a 12-game homestand with three straight wins, out-scoring their opponents 13-1 over the stretch.
Notes: Bobrovsky had won his previous six starts. … Lightning LW Ryan Malone missed his third consecutive game due to a mid-body injury. … Philadelphia RW Claude Giroux had his career-high seven-game point streak (three goals, 11 points) snapped. … Tampa Bay D Randy Jones assisted on Downie’s goal for his first point in 17 games. … Tampa Bay, which is currently carrying three goalies, scratched Mike Smith. Dan Ellis served as the backup.