For the first time since he was dealt by Tampa Bay to the Flyers last year, rugged defenseman Radko Gudas faced the Lightning on Monday night.
"I'm really excited about it," Gudas said before the 4-2 victory, adding that he needed to play controlled and, even after erupting for a career-best four points Saturday against Columbus, have a defense-first mentality.
In reference to his offensive outburst, a smiling Gudas, who will never be compared to Bobby Orr for his skating or scoring ability, said, "The guys gave me a hard time for it, that's for sure."
He had nine shot attempts, four hits, and two blocked shots Monday night.
Gudas, 25, didn't play when the Flyers faced Tampa Bay in their season opener on Oct. 8.
Acquired from Tampa Bay last March with first- and third-round 2015 draft picks in the deal that sent veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn to Tampa, Gudas missed the rest of last season after knee surgery.
Coburn sat out Monday's game - which would have been his first at the Wells Fargo Center since the trade - because of an unspecified injury.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper called Coburn (10 points, plus-8) the "consummate pro" and someone who always work hard to improve his game. "I know this is a killer for him not to play [Monday]. He was really looking forward to this. . . . To be honest, I was hoping he'd get a good reception by the fans, but he's going to have to wait a little longer."
Added Cooper: "When you have to give up someone like Radko Gudas, and what he meant to me personally and our team, those are big shoes to fill, and Coby stepped right into them and that's a big testament to him."
Gudas entered Monday with 10 points, a plus-two rating, 102 penalty minutes, and a team-high 249 hits.
The good-natured Gudas was put on the power play late in Saturday's win, trying to help him score a hat trick.
"I think it was just a one-time thing," he said with a laugh when asked if he was now part of the power-play unit. "I'm fine with that."
Gudas, who has had a penchant for bad penalties, has become a popular player because of the way he defends his teammates.
"The boys are great here; they made me feel welcome right away, so I didn't have a hard time to get used to the team," he said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity they gave me."