for this game

Bolts welcome back Lecavalier, hang on to beat Flyers

Nov 28, 2013 - 5:50 AM
Tampa, FL ( - Victor Hedman scored twice and Tampa Bay almost coughed up a three-goal lead in the final two minutes of regulation, but topped Philadelphia, 4-2, spoiling Vincent Lecavalier's return.

In 14 seasons with the Lightning, the former No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft totaled team records of 1,037 games played and 383 goals, along with 491 assists and 874 points. He was honored by the hosts with a lengthy video tribute in the first period which drew a standing ovation.

Ondrej Palat also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who have won two straight after losing four in a row and moved within one point of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

"It's fun to contribute on both ends of the ice," Hedman said. "You can't get satisfied. You want to keep going and winning hockey games, that's what's most important."

Seemingly on his way to a shutout, Anders Lindback was beaten twice in a 40- second span, by Lecavalier and Mark Streit, but won thanks to 19 saves.

Ray Emery made 31 stops for the Flyers, who dropped both ends of their Florida sojourn after winning three straight home games.

"There's no excuse for not being motivated," Emery said. "We could have found tons of stuff to get motivated over."

Ahead by two, Tampa Bay enjoyed 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play after Scott Hartnell (slashing) and Niklas Grossman (boarding) were whistled for infractions 30 seconds apart.

Hedman followed up a blocked Teddy Purcell shot and beat Emery with a turnaround chance for a 3-0 game at the five-minute mark, but the hosts failed to click on the one-man edge.

Lecavalier finally solved Lindback, ripping home his ninth goal of the season on a one-timer from a Brayden Schenn dish while on the power play with 1:53 remaining.

Emery rushed to the bench soon after and Streit's point blast -- his first goal of the year -- hit the net at 18:47 to pull Philly within a goal.

When the visitors again used the extra skater, Lecavalier failed to keep the puck in the Flyers' zone near the blue line, and Tyler Johnson wheeled past him and up the right wing to put the disc into the empty net.

Simmonds was harassed by Hedman on a breakaway with 3:14 left in the first period. Despite getting off a shot and not being checked, a penalty shot was called.

Lindback was equal, flashing the left pad as Simmonds moved from forehand to backhand.

Emery's chance to shine came just past the 4 1/2-minute mark of the second, as he dragged the left pad to deny two chances in close from J.T. Brown.

Tampa picked up the game's first goal at 9:15, when Hedman's shot from a sharp angle on the left wing dropped from the crook of Emery's arm at the near post.

The Bolts led 2-0 when Palat followed up Hedman's blast during a short-handed 2-on-1 break three minutes later.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay improved to 4-3-1 since Steven Stamkos suffered his broken right leg ... The Bolts tied a franchise record with their fifth straight victory at home over Philly, having originally done so from Jan. 3, 2004 to Oct. 19, 2006 ... Lecavalier was 18 years, 178 days old when he first played for the Lightning against the Flyers, in a 5-2 Philly win on Oct. 16, 1998 ... Simmonds has converted one of three career penalty shots, and the Flyers have missed four in a row since Matt Read connected on Nov. 13, 2011 ... Read was a late scratch due to an undisclosed injury ... Prior to the contest, the Lightning recalled forward Dana Tyrell from Syracuse of the American Hockey League ... After missing the last seven games due to illness and healthy scratches, Michael Raffl returned to the Philadelphia lineup.