TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov each had two goals and an assist and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday night to snap a five-game losing streak.
Ross Colton also scored, Mikhail Sergachev had two assists and Alexei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for the Lightning. They had been 0-4-1 since a 3-0 victory in Detroit on Feb. 25. “We were winning a lot more battles than we have been,” Killorn said, “and the power play was great.” Morgan Frost and Brendan Lemieux scored for Philadelphia, and Carter Hart made 34 saves. The Flyers have lost five of six. The Lightning, who entered the night second in the NHL in power-play percentage, scored three times in six chances. Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo said the Lightning’s superb power play made the difference.
“You’ve got to kill them (power plays),” said DeAngelo, whose spearing major late in the third period led to the Lightning’s third power-play goal. “They’ve got a lethal power play; everyone knows that.
“They’ve been doing it for years, and they did it again tonight.” After each team scored once in the first period, Tampa Bay took command with three goals in the second.
Kucherov gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead 34 seconds in when he set up at the top of the right circle and one-timed Sergachev’s pass behind Hart. Colton outmuscled three Flyers in front of Hart and slid Tanner Jeannot’s pass into the net at 8:46 for a 3-1 advantage.
The line of Colton, Nick Paul and Jeannot, who was acquired from the Nashville Predators on Feb. 26, brought a physical presence as well as some offense.
“We’re trying to form an identity for what our line is going to be,” Colton said. “It’s our second or third game together. Tanner brings a lot of grit and skill, he’s heavy on the forecheck. I’ve been playing with (Paul) the last year, so I kind of know what he brings.”
Killorn put the Lightning up by three at 10:49 with a short wrist shot after Hart misplayed the puck behind the net.
“Probably a few too many mistakes on our part, and obviously their power play is pretty lethal,” Frost said of the second period. “If you give them opportunities, eventually they’re going to score. Too many breakdowns; I feel like we got ourselves some good looks also, but we didn’t find a way to put them in the net.”
Lemieux cut the margin to 4-2 at 12:40 when he deflected Cam York’s wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Vasilevskiy’s catching glove. But Kucherov scored Tampa Bay’s third power-play goal of the game with 2:22 remaining in the third period.
The Flyers opened the scoring at 5:52 of the first period when Frost finished off a 2-on-1 break by beating Vasilevskiy during a delayed penalty. But Killorn’s power-play tap-in of Kucherov’s pass at 7:38 got the Lightning even.
“The big thing for me was when we fell behind 1-0 and then we came back,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “The power play was on tonight, but the rebound after going down 1-0 — that was big for me, and the boys took it home after that.”
The Lightning played without their best defenseman, Victor Hedman, who left midway through a 6-0 road loss to Carolina on Sunday after crashing into the boards and injuring his back.
Tampa Bay improved to 12-1-0 in its last 13 games against the Flyers. STREAKING
Kucherov extended his home points streak to 22 games. He has seven goals and 32 assists for 39 points during that span. UP NEXT
Flyers: At Carolina on Thursday night.
Lightning: Host Vegas on Thursday night. ___ AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports