TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The surging Philadelphia Flyers had an impressive week against the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Steve Mason made 18 saves, Sam Gagner and Matt Read both scored power-play goals and the Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Friday night.
Brayden Schenn also scored for the Flyers. Philadelphia had been off since beating the Lightning 4-2 Monday night in Philadelphia to end Tampa Bay’s franchise-record nine-game winning streak.
“I like what we’re doing now,” Schenn said after the Flyers won for the sixth time in seven games. “Everyone is buying in, playing their roles, doing their jobs, and it’s resulting in wins.”
The victory moved the Flyers within two points of Detroit for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
“It’s been a great effort the last little while here,” Mason said. “Right now, we look like a strong hockey club out there. The guys look like they’re overwhelming their opposition, which is great to see.”
The Lightning, second in the Atlantic Division, got a goal from Brian Boyle, and Ben Bishop made 19 saves. Tampa Bay is 0-2-1 since its long winning stretch ended.
“We’re playing like we’re a comfortable team in the playoffs,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “And if we’re going to play like that, we won’t make it.”
Mason had a nice save on Ondrej Palat’s redirection late in the second. He lost the bid for his fifth shutout this season and 31st overall when Boyle scored with 2:42 left in the third.
Read moved in from the blue line and sent a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Bishop 3:34 into the second for the Flyers’ second power-play goal and a 2-0 lead.
The Flyers took a 3-0 advantage at 7:56 of the second when Bishop ended up out of position following an ill-advised poke-check attempt on Schenn’s wraparound goal.
After Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos received a 4-minute high-sticking penalty, Gagner opened the scoring during the ensuing power play at 8:57 of the first.
Stamkos also sent a puck off the Tampa Bay post in the third on his deflection during a clearing attempt deep in the Lightning zone.
Tampa Bay went without a shot for the first 9 1-2 minutes of the third and wound with five in the period.
NOTES: The Flyers have allowed fewer than 20 shots in three consecutive games. … Lightning D Braydon Coburn (two games, lower-body injury) and D Anton Stralman (one game, illness) both returned. … Gagner had eight assists but no goals in 10 previous games against the Lightning. … Tampa Bay reassigned D Slater Koekkoek to the Syracuse of the AHL. … Mason is 3-3-2 against Tampa Bay.
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