Flyers Look To Keep Offense Rolling And Keep Stamkos At Bay
The Philadelphia Flyers (44-23-8) will close out their current five game home stand (their longest of the season) when the face the(34-33-7) on Monday night.
Tampa Bay who are 5-5-1 in March, are coming off back-to-back wins against the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders respectively.
Their play this month has not been consistent nor reflective of their leading goal scorer, Steven Stamkos. The Flyers will have their hands full tonight as they try to contain the red hot Stamkos who leads the league in goals with 52 and is third in the scoring race (87), one point better than Claude Giroux.
In the eleven games in March so far, Stamkos has eight goals and three assists for eleven points and is a minus-two. In the Lightning's most recent matchup against the Islanders, Stamkos netted two and added a helper to power the team to the 4-3 win. He has appeared in 15 career games versus the Flyers and is averaging a point per game amassing 10 goals and five assists during that span.
Not only will the Flyers need to keep tight to Stamkos and his linemates, they will also have to contend with Bolts fourth line forward Tom Pyatt.
With all the injuries to Tampa Bay's regulars, Pyatt has found a way to elevate his game beyond it's normal reaches. He is having a career year in goals with eleven surpassing a two-year NHL total of four when he was with the Montreal Canadiens.
In Saturday's game against the Islanders, Pyatt recorded his third goal in his last two games and it was the sixth time in his last eleventh he recorded a point. He likes to crash the net and cause traffic in front, and with his recent success look for him to be a staple in front of the Flyers goal.
The Flyers who have struggled to score goals this month have scored more than three goals just three times this month including this past Saturday when the team beat the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1.
A good sign that these scoring woes will be a distant memory was the two-goal performance from Danny Briere. The Flyers need Briere to get back in the groove and contribute to the score sheet on a more consistent basis down the stretch heading into the playoffs.
With Bryzgalov holding down the fort in the Flyers end (10-1, 1.22 gaa, 4 SO this month) it seems the concern of the moment is finding the back of the net. Hopefully the four goals against the Habs will get this team back to the scoring machine they were in the first half of the season.
The Lightning have not been getting the consistent goaltending that took them to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year in which they lost 1-0.
Tampa Bay will not be making the playoffs this season and some players will be playing for their futures which makes this game a dangerous one.
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