TAMPA, Fla. – Teddy Purcell got a key goal before Steven Stamkos secured the win on a late milestone effort.
Purcell scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, Stamkos got his 200th NHL goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Monday night.
Purcell’s in-close deflection at 9:25 of the third came shortly after the Lightning killed off a short-handed situation.
“Maybe the luckiest play of the game,” Purcell said. “It kind of went off my stick and found a way to go in.”
Stamkos scored his 21st goal this season into an empty net with 3 seconds to play. He became the fourth-youngest player—at 23 years, 41 days—to reach 200 goals. The centre trails only Wayne Gretzky (21 years, 256 days), Mario Lemieux (22 years, 148 days) and Dale Hawerchuk (22 years, 266 days).
“I don’t think it’s a huge milestone, but that’s something nice,” Stamkos said. “It wasn’t a highlight reel goal by any means. Obviously I want to keep producing, helping the team win.”
Ondrej Palat and Tom Pyatt also scored for Tampa Bay, which improved to 12-1 when leading after the first period.
Maxime Talbot and Claude Giroux had goals as Philadelphia fell to 0-11 when trailing entering the second period.
“It’s frustrating to see that we can’t come up with the two points when we played a pretty good game,” Giroux said. “The season is not over. We’re a team that’s going to battle, and we’re not going to stop until the end. We believe in the guys that we have in this room, and we’re going to keep competing and working hard.”
Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen played in his 1,000th NHL game on his 38th birthday. He is the 282nd NHL player, and sixth from Finland, to reach the milestone.
Pyatt put the Lightning up 2-1 after skating down the slot and redirecting Tyler Johnson’s pass past Ilya Bryzgalov with 2:57 left in the first.
Giroux got the Flyers even at 2 from the left circle at 15:21 of the second.
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead when Palat scored from the low right circle 6:38 into the game. The rookie scored his first NHL goal in Saturday night’s 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Talbot tied it at 1 at 13:55 of the first. The centre made a nifty move to get past two Lightning defenders and then slip a backhander past Anders Lindback. Jakub Voracek hit the post with 2 seconds remaining in the period.
Philadelphia’s Matt Read hit the crossbar 6 minutes into the third.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette benched Scott Hartnell for an extended period after the left wing took a roughing penalty early in the second.
“We’ve got to play a clean game,” Laviolette said. “It seems like we do things and shoot ourselves in the foot, so we’ve got to play a clean game.”
Hartnell was not surprised by the move.
“If that’s the way it’s going to be, that’s the way it’s going to be,” Hartnell said. “It’s not Lavvy trying to send a message to me … he’s trying to send it to the team. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t come back tonight.”
Tampa Bay defenceman Victor Hedman and left wing Ryan Malone both left with undisclosed upper-body injuries. Lightning coach Guy Boucher said the status of both was being evaluated.
NOTES: 39 players that have reached 1,000 NHL games played spent at least part of their career with the Flyers. … Johnson has a goal and two assists over his first three NHL games. … Tampa Bay D Keith Aulie stopped a 22-game point drought with an assist on Purcell’s goal. … Giroux and Talbot both had six shots on goal.