|Date of game: 12/16/2014
Recap: Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 23 shots for a successful NHL debut, as the Tampa Bay Lightning claimed a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Recalled from Syracuse of the AHL prior to the contest, Vasilevskiy was the reigning player of the week in the league. He was pressed into duty since backup Evgeni Nabokov played most of Monday's loss in Pittsburgh thanks to an injury to starter Ben Bishop.
"It was one of those things coming in. We've been going through a little bit of a tough stretch here," said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. "We played him because he's a talented kid, but we thought he might be able to give us a spark and clearly he did."
Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson and Valtteri Filppula lit the lamp for the Bolts, who were coming off consecutive road losses to the Capitals and Penguins.
Ryan Callahan added two assists for Tampa, which also reached the 20-win plateau.
Wayne Simmonds posted a power-play goal for the Flyers, who had won their first two of a four-game homestand. Steve Mason made 20 stops in defeat.
"They're always sound defensively. They have a lot of players on that team that can skate well," Simmonds noted. "They check well in the defensive zone. It was a tight game. We've just got to find a way to get on the other side of one-goal games like that."
Stamkos ripped a shot home from the right circle at 1:50 of the second period, and the Bolts took a 2-1 lead at 6:34 when Johnson tipped in a cross- crease pass from Nikita Kucherov which ticked off the skate of Callahan just as a Tampa power play expired.
Vasilevsky didn't have to work much to make that lead hold up, needing only six saves in the middle 20 minutes.
He made eight more saves in the third period, but only was required to stop one Philadelphia shot with Mason pulled in the final 1:57 of regulation.
"It's awesome. It was my childhood dream. And today I am playing in the best league in the world," said Vasilevskiy. "I'm very excited. It's the best feeling in my life."
Filppula hit the empty net with 41.8 seconds to play which sealed the outcome.
After killing off two penalties in a four-minute span, the Flyers took a 1-0 lead to intermission after Simmonds tipped in a Streit point drive with 40.4 on the first-period clock.Game Notes
Tampa Bay has won five of its last seven games in Philadelphia since October
of 2010 ... Vasilevskiy stopped 55-of-56 shots last week for the Crunch, and
went 8-3-3 with two shutouts and a 2.34 GAA in 14 appearances this season ...
Stamkos upped his career totals against the Flyers to 17 goals and
nine assists in 22 games ... Philly completes its residency on Thursday
against the Panthers ... Despite the loss, the Flyers recorded a man-advantage
score for the eighth straight game, the longest current streak in the NHL.