Philadelphia Flyers: Defense, Sestito Spark Win Over Lightning

By Adam Pfeifer
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


Tom Sestito scored two goals on Tuesday night. Tom Sestito scored two goals on Tuesday night. Tom Sestito … ahh nevermind.

No matter how many times I say it (or write it), the thought of Sestito actually being the main source of offense for the Philadelphia Flyers seems impossible.

But it isn’t. And it happened.

The Flyers recorded their second straight win on Tuesday night, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-1. In case you fell asleep for the beginning of this article, Sestito scored twice, both of which coming off one-on-one scoring opportunities against opposing goaltender Anders Lindback. And both times, Sestito went backhand, then a forehand shot right between the legs of Lindback. Okay, you can stop laughing now because I assure you this is not a joke.

As for the team in general, it was one of their better performances of the season. I mean, the Lightning came into this contest averaging 4.9 goals per game (league high) and the Flyers held them to just one. Ilya Bryzgalov was sensational yet again, continuing to prove that he deserves to be mayor of this city. Just give him the keys and the city shall be named “Ilyadelphia.”

Yeah, I like it.

The defense was absolutely sensational. Players were risking their bodies to block shots, the puck was taken better care of in their own zone and the penalty kill was once again something to smile about for the second straight game. Despite taking four penalties, Philadelphia killed them all off. That is quite the accomplishment when facing against an offense as high powered and potent as the Lightning. Offensively, the Flyers finished the game outshooting Tampa by a slim margin (24-22). When they weren’t shooting, they were forechecking in a way I haven’t seen them forecheck all season and it worked. Philadelphia pressured the opposing puck carrier all night long, pestering them the entire shift.

Zac Rinaldo got into a fight in this gameShocked, right? But did I mention he practically knocked B.J. Crombeen back into the fourth grade? I mean, it honestly looked as if Crombeen literally did not know where he was or how he got there. Still, let’s of course hope that he is alright.

It was a complete 180 compared to the prior meeting back on January 27th, where Philadelphia lost 5-1. Instead, the Flyers were the aggressor and obviously they had their rock between the pipes, whereas Michael Leighton got the nod during the first meeting. It’s safe to say that he was a bit rusty. The Flyers also got back to the physical style of hockey we all have grown to know and love and really fed off of that home crowd.

They will get two more opportunities during this four-game homestand. Next up, a visit from the Florida Panthers, a club the Flyers defeated 7-1 earlier in the year. Sestito will surely get his hat trick in this contest.



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