TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Carter Hart stopped 37 shots, Noah Cates scored a tiebreaking goal in the third period and Philadelphia beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Tuesday night for the Flyers’ third straight comeback win to open the season.
Hart made a pad save on a breakaway by Brayden Point in the first period and improved to 1-5-1 against Tampa Bay.
Cates completed the rally from a two-goal deficit by scoring from the slot after a turnover at 12:44 of the third.
“Carter was outstanding,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “Kept us in it. We found a way at the end. We hope we’re building a little bit of a mindset of resiliency. I think each time it happens that way and you succeed, it just builds it for you.”
Steven Stamkos had two power-play goals and extended his season-opening goal streak to four games for the Lightning, who had their 10-game winning streak against the Flyers halted.
Stamkos has six goals during the second-longest goal streak to start a season in team history. Nikita Kucherov holds the franchise record with seven, set in 2017-18.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves for the Lightning, who opened the season dropping two of three on the road.
“This is a stinger,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We should never leave this game with zero points … probably should have left with two. This group should close that game out, and we didn’t. That’s probably a little bit of a concern.”
The Lightning lost in the championship series last season after win two straight Stanley Cups.
“Probably take things for granted with this team just for the past decade, what’s gone on,” Cooper said. “Early on in this first week and half, two weeks, it’s not going the way we’re used to it going. We have to fight through it, you’ve got to man up.”
Stamkos opened the scoring with a pair of power-play goals 2:47 apart early in the second. The first came at 1:25 off a nifty drop pass by Vladislav Namestnikov.
Kucherov assisted on both Stamkos goals as the Lightning captain moved past Jeremy Roenick into 25th place on the all-time power-play goal list with 185.
James van Riemsdyk tied it at 2 by redirecting Kevin Hayes’ power-play shot at 1:06 of the third with Stamkos in the penalty box for hooking.
Scott Laughton scored off a rebound at 10:43 of the second.
“We’ve done some good things in just finding ways to win the games at key times late in the game,” Tortorella said. “They’re showing me they’re ugly, they’re showing me it doesn’t matter, and they still have a little bit left in the tank to get things done.”
Lightning RW Perry had a game-high eight shots on goal, while Stamkos finished with six. Kucherov had none.
D Ian Cole made his Lightning debut after the NHL announced Saturday it found no evidence to substantiate allegations posted on social media against him.
Among the allegations posted anonymously to Twitter by an account created last month, the person said Cole pressured her into having sex multiple times when she was a minor after he had reached the NHL.
Team founder Phil Esposito and current owner Jeff Vinik dropped a ceremonial first puck as part of the Lightning’s 30th anniversary season celebration.
Flyers: D Rasmus Ristolainen (lower body) and D Cam Atkinson (upper body) didn’t play.
Lightning: Coach Jon Cooper said D Philippe Myers (undisclosed) is out and needs some recovery time.
“It’s like Halloween. Aside from the opening night of the playoffs, this is the biggest night. Just the excitement and the introductions at the beginning, and getting to hear all the guys get cheered for, it’s just an exciting, exciting time,” Cooper said about the home opener.
Flyers: Continue a three-game trip Wednesday night at Florida
Lightning: Play at Florida on Friday night.
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