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Vincent Lecavalier Falls an Assist Short of Gordie Howe as Tampa Bay Lightning Handle Philadelphia Flyers 5-1

January 28th, 2013 at 10:53 PM
By Kyle Alexander Abney

It had been almost four years since his last major penalty, a fight on February 9, 2009 against New York Islanders defenseman Tim Jackman.

But something sparked Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier on Sunday night at home against the Philadelphia Flyers as he dropped the gloves with young Philadelphia defenseman Luke Schenn.

Schenn had just taken umbrage with a hit Lecavalier had laid on fellow defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

The fight came later in the first period after Bolts goaltender Anders Lindback let in perhaps his softest goal of the season so far, a harmless shot from the goal line by Flyers second-year center Sean Couturier that deflected of Lindback's own skate and into the net.

Perhaps looking to ignite his partially deflated squad, Lecavalier answered the bell and, despite taking his fair share of head shots, held his own against the much more pugilistic Schenn.

As per Lecavalier has fought 22 times in 14 NHL regular and pre-seasons. Schenn has 23 in only 5 years.

The Bolts responded to the fisticuffs with a parade of goals, including power play markers by both Teddy Purcell and the captain himself, a laser one-timer over Flyer goalie Michael Leighton's shrugged shoulder that sent the water bottle on top of the net flying.

The power play goals were sandwiched around an even strength goal by Eric Brewer, who now has three goals in five games after scoring only one in 82 games played in 2011-2012.

Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos finished off the rout in the final frame with insurance markers.

Lecavalier failed to record an assist in the game, narrowly missing out on his fourth career Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist, and one fight in the same game).

The win further solidifies the Lightning as, at least for now, a hot team in what could be a very crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Bolts continue their home stand with a game against the ailing Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, who fell to this same Flyers squad on Saturday night by a score of 7-1.

Puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.

Tags: Gordie Howe Hat Trick, Hockey, Luke Schenn, NHL, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vincent Lecavalier

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