Flyers defeat Lightning in round-robin, win Eastern Conference top seed


Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored twice to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in a Stanley Cup Qualifiers round-robin game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.

Carter Hart made 23 saves, and Joel Farabee had one goal and one assist for the Flyers (3-0-0), who will play the Montreal Canadiens, the No. 8 seed, in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves and Tyler Johnson scored for Tampa Bay (2-1-0), which is the No. 2 seed. It will face the winner (the No. 7 seed) of the best-of-5 series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets with Game 5 in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-O).

The top four seeds for the playoffs in each conference are determined by round-robin in the Qualifiers. The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins will play Sunday (Noon ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NESN) to determine the third and fourth seeds in the East.

Aube-Kubel gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with the first postseason goal of his NHL career, deflecting a shot from Shayne Gostisbehere at 7:40 of the first period. He scored again on a one-timer off a pass from Sean Couturier at 14:00 of the first to make it 2-0.

Johnson scored on a snap shot from the slot on a power play, at 5:21 of the second period to make it 2-1.

Farabee gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead with a one-timer from the right circle at 14:22 of the second.

Tyler Pitlick scored an empty-net goal with 1:20 remaining in the third period for the 4-1 final.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman left at 9:28 of the first period after he stumbled in open ice.

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