Flyers (15-14-8) at Lightning (27-7-2)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Amalie Arena
BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV– NBCSP; radio–97.5 FM.
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull @samdonnellon
KEY PLAYERS: Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has four shutouts this season, tied with Columbus's Sergei Bobrovsky for most this season. He leads all goaltenders with 24 wins. Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, who has 24 goals, has an eight-game points streak. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos scored twice in last night's 3-1 victory over Montreal. He has recorded a power-play point in 19 of 35 games this season… Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth, whose first full practice preceded the two road games prior to the Christmas break, was activated earlier in the week and is likely to start tonight's game in Tampa. Jake Voracek's 44 points puts him on a pace to easily outpace his best points season of 81 and put him on pace for a 100-point season. Eric Lindros was the last Flyer to do that, in 1995-96. However, Voracek has not registered a point in the last two games. He had a point-less three-game stretch in November.
THINGS TO KNOW: The Lightning aren't just the NHL's best this season, they are hot as well. They have won eight in a row at home and 10 of their past 11 games overall. They are 15-2-1 at home this season. The Flyers are second only to the Lightning in goals allowed 5-on-5 with 54. The difference is that the Flyers have scored 64 goals, while the Lightning have scored 81 goals while the teams are 5 aside. Including last night's 3-2 loss to the Panthers, the Flyers have lost their last three games, all on the road, two against teams lower in the standings. After tonight, the Flyers play their next four games at home, and six of the next eight at Wells Fargo Center. They will not board a plane again until a Jan.23 trip to Detroit.
HEAD TO HEAD: Including playoffs, the Flyers are 53-46-8 all time against the Lightning. They are 26-28-1 away. The Flyers were 1-2 against Tampa Bay last season, winning 4-2 on Jan. 7 after suffering two losses over four days in late November.
Tuesday: 7 p.m. Pittsburgh
Thursday: 7 p.m. Islanders