Five Flyers score in second period in rout of Lightning
Rob Zepp took his family to a Disney on Ice show on the final day off before he headed out for another round in the NHL.
His 2-year-old daughter wanted strangers to know the most famous person she knew on skates sure wasn’t a fictional character.
"My daddy plays in the NHL," Zepp said, laughing as he told the story.
Zepp not only plays in the NHL, he’s a sparkling 2-0 for the Flyers.
Jake Voracek was one of five Flyers to score in the second period, leading Philadelphia to a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.
Voracek, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Mark Streit and Brayden Schenn all scored in a 6 minute, 52-second span in the second to chase goalie Evgeni Nabokov and help the Flyers match a season high in goals. Michael Raffl also scored in the five-goal period.
Voracek boosted his NHL-best point total to 52. Claude Giroux, who turned 27, had two assists to give him 34 on the season and match his teammate for the league lead. Voracek and Giroux were named NHL All-Stars over the weekend.
Even with the All-Star duo enjoying sensational seasons, the Flyers entered the game 14th in the Eastern Conference.
With Steve Mason out two weeks because of a lower-body injury, the Flyers turned to Zepp over veteran Ray Emery. Zepp made 25 saves in his NHL debut the Flyers’ 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in December. Zepp became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 41-year-old Hugh Lehman accomplished the feat in 1926.
"There’s emotion from the first time of working so hard toward that opportunity. It was overwhelming," Zepp said. "No matter what I did, it was tough to suppress those feelings. Tonight coming in, I’ve been through that. I was ready to go. I was very comfortable right from the start."
Zepp had 21 saves against the Lightning. The 33-year-old Zepp was 11-5-4 in 21 AHL games this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
"It probably feels even better than the first time around," Zepp said.
The Flyers had scored only six goals in the first three games of their four-game homestand before getting it going against Steven Stamkos and the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning.
Chris VandeVelde and R.J. Umberger scored for the Flyers for a 2-1 lead entering the second.
The Flyers needed little time to turn a tight one into a rout and snap a six-game losing streak to Tampa Bay.
Voracek sparked the surge with his 17th goal on a one-timer from the circle on the power play.
Bellemare scored on a redirection for the 4-1 lead that chased Nabokov. The 39-year-old veteran left after allowing four goals on only 13 shots. But Ben Bishop, who has 21 wins, wasn’t much better in relief.
"They were getting to pucks faster, we weren’t touching anyone in front of our net, leaving our goaltender out to dry," Stamkos said. "It was an accumulation of things we got away with in the first but not in the second."
Streit and Schenn scored the second and third power-play goals of the period to give the Flyers their first six-goal game at home since March 5, 2014 against Washington. Schenn’s goal came with Philadelphia holding a two-man advantage.
"We were able to keep it simple, put the pucks to the net, getting guys to the net," Schenn said. "We were getting some rebounds and obviously the power play helped us out there, too."
Raffl capped the period with his 11th goal of the season and the Flyers skated off the ice to the sound of a rare standing ovation from the fans.
Stamkos scored his 23rd goal of the season, and Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Lightning.
The Lightning lost defenseman Victor Hedman and forward Tyler Johnson because of lower-body injuries. Hedman left after the first period and Johnson, an All-Star, had an assist before he left in the second period.
"You pull any of those guys out of your lineup, it’s going to hurt. We’ll see how we adapt," coach Jon Cooper said.
NOTES: Flyers D Braydon Coburn left with a lower-body injury. … VandeVelde had his first career multi-point game. … The Flyers last scored five goals in a period on Dec. 19, 2013 vs. Columbus. … Bishop had a 1.67 GAA over his last three starts. … The Flyers also scored seven goals against Toronto on Dec. 20.