Lightning-Flyers Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to rebound from their first

regulation loss in three weeks, and returning home may appear to be

just what they need to do that.

A visit from the Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning may

prove otherwise.

The Flyers look to extend their winning streak at Wells Fargo

Center to eight as they face the Lightning on Thursday night.

Philadelphia (12-5-2) went 10 games (9-0-1) without losing in

regulation before falling 3-0 at Montreal on Tuesday. The Flyers

outshot the Canadiens 41-28, but were still shut out for the first

time.

Returning home, where they have a seven-game winning streak,

would seem like a good chance to rebound. However, Philadelphia

lost 3-2 to Tampa Bay (9-7-2) in the most recent meeting there Oct.

14.

“I think everybody is frustrated and disappointed with the loss

(Tuesday),” coach Peter Laviolette told the team’s official

website. “But we have this game coming up against Tampa Bay and we

didn’t have the success we were looking for against them last

time.

“Again, I haven’t seen any of the players to deliver any

messages, but I think we should focus more on Tampa Bay, seeing as

they took points out of our building.”

Philadelphia is 8-3-0 at home, and has outscored opponents 34-12

during its longest winning streak there since an eight-game run

from Dec. 9, 2008-Jan. 10, 2009.

Stamkos may play a part in keeping the Flyers from matching that

feat. The center netted a goal and assisted on Brett Clark’s to end

the Lightning’s five-game road losing streak with a 4-2 win over

the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

“We played with a lot of desperation,” said Stamkos, who leads

the NHL with 16 goals and 30 points.

Stamkos has been red-hot of late, totaling six goals and four

assists during a six-game points streak. He’s been held without a

point in just two games, and could be in for a rigid test if the

Flyers give Sergei Bobrovsky a 12th consecutive start.

The rookie goaltender is 9-1-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average

in the last 11 games after making 25 saves Tuesday. He didn’t face

Tampa Bay last month, when Philadelphia opted for Brian Boucher,

who made 21 saves and is 1-2-1 with a 2.26 GAA.

Bobrovsky has been a revelation thus far, tying for the league

high in wins (11) while ranking among the leaders with a 2.07 GAA,

and .932 save percentage.

The Lightning’s goaltending situation isn’t as clear.

Dan Ellis may get a third straight start after making 34 saves

Wednesday. He wasn’t nearly as sharp in his previous two games,

losing both while giving up eight goals on 42 shots.

Ellis beat the Flyers on Oct. 14, making 24 stops.

Mike Smith is 0-3-0 with a 6.49 GAA in his last four games –

three starts – against Philadelphia. He hasn’t been much better in

his last four starts overall, going 0-3-0 with a 4.39 GAA while

getting pulled once.