Flyers-Lightning Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost more than two road games to

only one team over the past year and a half. The lowly Tampa Bay

Lightning could become the second.

The Flyers hope the holiday break helps get them going back in

the right direction as they face the Lightning on Tuesday


Philadelphia had the Eastern Conference’s most road points last

season and currently has the league’s most with a 13-4-2 record.

The only opposing arena where the Flyers (21-9-4) have lost more

than twice in that span is Madison Square Garden, having dropped

three straight there after a 4-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday.

That was their third defeat in four games overall following a

seven-game winning streak.

“Not Flyers hockey, really leaves a sour taste in our mouth

going into the holidays,” winger Scott Hartnell said after

Philadelphia went scoreless for the game’s first 50 minutes.

Hartnell’s club now resumes a stretch of five consecutive road

games, ending Thursday in Pittsburgh, before hosting the Rangers in

the Winter Classic next Monday.

The Lightning play their final three games of 2011 at home.

They’ve gone 2-0-1 against the Flyers in Tampa this year, splitting

two games in February before a 2-1 victory Nov. 9 on Brett

Connolly’s overtime goal.

Tampa Bay (14-17-3) had been on a 4-0-1 run overall in this

series before losing 5-2 in Philadelphia on Dec. 10.

While the Lightning are 13th in the East, Philadelphia is

battling for the conference lead partly because Hartnell and Claude

Giroux have been so good.

Hartnell, who has scored in three straight versus Tampa, has

seven goals and six assists with a plus-10 rating in 11 games this

month. Giroux, who returned last week after missing four games due

to a concussion, was held off the scoresheet Friday after totaling

14 points in his previous six games.

Philadelphia hopes another key piece to its offense can return

after Danny Briere sat out Friday with a finger injury.

The Flyers’ eight goals during their 1-2-1 stretch are a season

low for a four-game span. Four have been power-play goals, more

than the Lightning have all month.

Tampa Bay is 3 for 32 with the man advantage in December.

“We’re losing our games because we can’t get that power-play

goal,” said coach Guy Boucher, whose team’s 3-8-1 record since Nov.

27 is among the NHL’s worst.

Steven Stamkos went pointless for a second straight game Friday

in a 2-1 overtime loss at Colorado, but he has five goals and four

assists in his last four home games.

Martin St. Louis has five goals in his last eight overall, but

the Lightning have lost seven straight when the star winger has

played. This is his third game back after missing two weeks with an

eye injury.

St. Louis could face a struggling Ilya Bryzgalov. He’s lost his

last three starts while allowing 11 goals, and his .895 save

percentage this season ranks among the league’s worst.

Bryzgalov has only faced 40 shots over two meetings with the

Lightning this season, allowing two goals in each. He’s 3-1-1 with

a 2.07 GAA lifetime against them.

Mathieu Garon has a 3.63 GAA in six career starts versus

Philadelphia, including the Dec. 10 loss. Teammate Dwayne Roloson

has started each game during the Lightning’s 2-0-1 home stretch

versus Philadelphia, allowing four goals, but he’s 0-4-0 with a

5.09 GAA in his last six games overall.