Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Philadelphia Flyers, 5-3

Mike Burse@Burse21Correspondent IMarch 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Teddy Purcell #16 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (C) celebrates the Lightning's second period goal against the Washington Capitals with teammates Steven Stamkos #91, Martin St. Louis #26, and Ryan Malone #12 at the Verizon Center on March 8, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have now won three straight after winning 5-3 over the Philadelphia Flyers last night. Martin St. Louis scored the eventual game winner, while Steven Stamkos netted his 53rd goal of the season. Tampa's first goal was created off a turnover by the Flyers while they were on the power play in the neutral zone that saw Ryan Malone break in and rifle a shot top corner.

Tampa now sits in 11th place in the East with just seven games left to play. The Lightning are also seven points out the eighth and final playoff spot. They will need to leap over the Winnipeg Jets (78 points), Buffalo Sabres (84 points) and the Washington Capitals (84 points). While they still have a chance to make the postseason, the door is closing quickly, and they will need some help on the scoreboard from other teams as well.

Their remaining schedule from NHL.com goes as follows:

Date Opponent
March 27 Boston Bruins
March 29 New Jersey Devils
March 31 Winnipeg Jets
April 2 Washington Capitals
April 4 Montreal Canadiens
April 5 Toronto Maple Leafs
April 7 Winnipeg Jets

Crucial games will be against the Jets and Capitals. Without winning these games, the Lightning will not make the playoffs. That being said, they nearly need to win all their remaining games in order to make it.

All these games as winnable, but Boston and New Jersey will be tough opponents. Tampa has won the last two out of three meetings with the Bruins this season (5-3 and 6-1 respectively), so they should be able to keep their playoff hopes alive when they meet them tonight.