NHL: Lightning out to send Flyers back to loss column

The Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to prevent the Boston Bruins from extending their NHL-record season-opening home winning streak in the most recent encounter between the teams.

On Thursday, the Lightning will look to stop the Flyers from posting back-to-back wins at home when the teams meet in Philadelphia.

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Tampa Bay star captain Steven Stamkos recorded his 999th career NHL point by scoring a power-play goal late in the second period of his team’s 3-1 setback to the Bruins on Tuesday.

Stamkos has collected six goals and eight assists during his eight-game points streak, during which the Lightning have posted a 6-2-0 record.

Former Hart Trophy recipient Nikita Kucherov set up Stamkos’ team-leading 13th goal of the season on Tuesday to boost his point total to 14 (four goals, 10 assists) during that same eight-game stretch. Kucherov leads the team in both assists (25) and points (35).

Tampa Bay was unable to muster anything more than Stamkos’ goal on Tuesday, much to the chagrin of coach Jon Cooper.

“In the end we didn’t get it done,” Cooper said. “Tie game in the third period and you come in here and want to commit penalties against Boston and can’t kill off one penalty. Shame on us.”

Kucherov set up both of Stamkos’ power-play goals early in the second period during the Lightning’s first meeting of the season with the Flyers on Oct. 18. The Flyers, however, responded with three unanswered goals to claim the 3-2 win.

Kevin Hayes, who had an assist in that game, scored two goals on Tuesday as the Flyers snapped a 10-game winless skid (0-7-3) with a 3-1 home victory over the New York Islanders.

“It’s no fun when you’re losing every night, but I do think that there (are) games that we deserved to win in that streak and there’s definitely games we deserved to lose,” Hayes said. “Tonight, I think everyone gave a full (60-minute) effort right from the first faceoff, and I think everyone’s pretty happy that we won and ended it.”

Said Philadelphia coach John Tortorella: “Are our problems solved? Absolutely not. You get what you deserve, and I think we deserved to win tonight’s game.”

Hayes has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. He leads the team in goals (eight), assists (16) and points (24).

Scott Laughton returned to the lineup after being sidelined for four games due to an upper-body injury. He scored a goal in the initial meeting with Tampa Bay.

The Flyers also could see the season debut of Cam Atkinson on Thursday.

Atkinson has been sidelined with an upper-body injury, however the 5-foot-8, 176-pound forward didn’t shy away from initiating contact with 6-4, 220-pound defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen during a recent practice.

“Just good to be back with the guys and battling and going through a lovely Torts practice like that was,” Atkinson said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Atkinson finished second on the team in goals (23), assists (27) and points (50) last season — his first in Philadelphia.

–Field Level Media

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