Flyers topple Lightning again, 3-1, keep pressure on Red Wings and Penguins in playoff race

Winning their first game in Tampa Bay in nearly 5 years, the Philadelphia Flyers pick up another valuable two points in their pursuit of a playoff spot tonight as they sweep their recent home and home series with the Lightning 3-1 Friday night at Amelia Arena. It was a textbook road game tonight for the Flyers in a building that has been a house of horrors for them in the past. With the win, the Flyers move within 2 points of the eight seeded Detroit Red Wings and 3 points of the seventh seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. Team-wide consistency has steadily improved over the duration of the season and even the most cynical fan has to admit, this is pretty damn fun right now as the Flyers chase down the playoffs.

The Flyers received goals from Sam Gagner (7th), Matt Read (11th), and Brayden Schenn (23th) in the win. The club also received some production from an unlikely source tonight as their second powerplay unit scored twice on the man advantage. Overall, it was a monster road victory against a quality opponent given the limited time on attack the team allowed in this one. With that said the Flyers defense unit collectively had difficulty moving the puck within their own end. The team was only charged with 3 giveaways for the game and blocked 20 shots in the win, but had it not been for their goaltender early in the game, the outcome could have been a lot closer.

Winning goaltender Steve Mason was sharp in this one as he turned away 18 of 19 shots. The win gave Mason his 16th of the season and while 19 shots is hardly a day’s work for goaltenders, Mason looked strong in between the pipes. Mason didn’t face many shots but saw many quality scoring chances from Lightning attackers.

Here is tonight’s notable for the game:

Flyers defensemen Andrew MacDonald was credited with a team-high 10 blocked shots in tonight’s win, in addition to assisting on the team’s second goal of the game. Through 13 games, MacDonald has 3 points and is plus 3 since rejoining the Flyers after playing in Leigh Valley for most of the season.            

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