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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolts notes: St. Louis bounces back from mistake

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PHILADELPHIA — One game after Lightning captain Marty St. Louis committed a costly turnover in a last-minute loss, he answered that with a big late-minute goal in the second period to reach the 20-goal plateau on the season.

“He doesn’t put himself in those positions but he is a man about it, he is a pro,’’ coach Jon Cooper said of the costly turnover on Thursday. “So we come here less than 48 hours later, we get a big road win against a team that has won 10 straight here and he’s one of the guys that puts on the board and scores a big insurance goal for us.

“You can’t say enough him, but that’s the one thing about pros that make them rise above the rest, they are the guys that can turn the page. It’s a long season, he had a hiccup, came out and did what he does best and I thought he was really good for us tonight.’’

With his 20th goal, St. Louis reached the mark for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons, with only his 17-goal campaign in last year’s lockout shortened season keeping it from being 11 consecutive seasons. Hitting that mark still holds meaning for the 38-year-old.

“You try to prepare yourself for the best year you can have to help your team win,’’ St. Louis said. “You reach 20 goals and it’s something I’m proud of, and I’ll try to keep going.’’

One down, one likely out

D Victor Hedman threw his stick in frustration before turning around and flinging his helmet in the opposite direction against the boards moments after being struck in head by Flyers’ RW Scott Hartnell with 4:51 left in the game.

Hartnell hit Hedman from the blindside, drawing an illegal check to the head penalty, which will no doubt draw the attention of the NHL Player Safety Department. Hedman, who has suffered two concussions in his career, said he never saw the hit coming, but felt fine after the game. His stick and helmet throwing was out of frustration.

Hedman was similarly hit by Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul last season, a play which resulted in a two-game suspension for Lupul.

“Obviously everyone knows I’ve had problems with concussions before so I was probably a little scared and frustrated at the same time. But I feel fine and it’s not going to bother me,’’ Hedman said.

The hit came late in a game in which Tampa Bay had already lost D Sami Salo in the first period after the veteran took a shot off his left ankle. Salo was on crutches and in a walking boot after the game and is expected to get further testing - either an MRI or X-ray - to determine the extent of the injury.

“It could be a bruise or a break, hopefully it’s just a bruise,’’ Cooper said.

Franchise mark

D Matt Carle enjoyed a franchise-breaking day, as the former Flyer was on the ice for all six goals the Lightning scored and finished the afternoon with a team record plus-6 rating. The previous mark of plus-5 was accomplished by eight players - Cory Cross, Pavel Kubina, Brad Lukowich, Dan Boyle, Vinny Lecavalier, St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Salo.

“It’s one of those things, where it was probably more coincidence than anything else,’’ said Carle, who also increased his scoring streak to career best six games with a pair of assists. “There were a couple of line changes were a part of them and guys were making good plays off rushes.’’

Cooper said the plus-6 rating was a topic of conversation in the locker room after the game.

“There were some chirps that it’s a good season for some people. So plus-six without a shot on goal,’’ Cooper said. “But he was a horse and you can say whatever you want about the plus-six, but he was outstanding on the 5-on-3 (Flyers’ power play in the first period).’’

Nuts and Bolts

D Mark Barberio, RW Richard Panik and C Tom Pyatt were scratched. ... LW B.J. Crombeen tied a career high with two assists. ... RW Teddy Purcell had his first goal in 10 games. ... LW Ryan Malone had his first multigoal game since Jan. 25, 2013. ... LW Ondrej Palat had his franchise rookie record eight-game scoring streak snapped.

eerlendsson@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7835

twitter: @erlendssonTBO

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