DUCKS (15-4-1) at LIGHTNING (13-5-0)
Last 10: Anaheim 8-1-1; Tampa Bay 8-2-0
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This is the first of two meetings between the Anaheim Ducks and the Tampa Bay Lightning and the only contest at the Tampa Bay Times Forum this season. Going on a four-game tour of the West Coast after playing the Ducks Thursday, the Bolts actually close out their road trip and the season series, against Anaheim on November 22. The last time the Lightning played the Ducks was on February 21, 2012 as Tampa Bay defeated Anaheim 3-2.
It’s the lone home game for the Lightning in a stretch that sees them play seven of eight games on the road. The Lightning have been without a loss at the Times Forum since October 19, winning their past four games at home.
LIGHTNING – The Bolts were able to let out a sigh of relief after a 2-1 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. With the loss of Steven Stamkos being weighed heavily on the team’s shoulders, they were out to prove that it wasn’t just one person who made up the Lightning.
Gaining an early lead, the Bolts road the 1-0 advantage until the final five minutes of play in regulation, when Daniel Briere knotted the game at one in his first game back since the middle of October. Despite a significant amount of power-play time carrying over into the extra frame, Tampa Bay was unable to figure out goalie Carey Price, putting a season-high 45 shots on net. Filppula once again stepped up in the shootout though, scoring the only goal on either side of the ice.
Now with one game out of the way, the Lightning know they have a long road to go, but they plan to stick strictly to the books of head coach Jon Cooper’s system, by playing a disciplined defensive game that includes the whole team stepping-up to the plate.
DUCKS – Quite possibly the best team in the NHL through 20 games this season, the Ducks currently lead the league in wins (15) and points (31). They have also scored the most goals in the NHL with 67 goals for. Yet after starting November with five consecutive wins, the Florida Panthers snapped that streak Tuesday in a 3-2 loss.
One of Anaheim’s leaders and their captain, Ryan Getzlaf’s return is doubtful on Thursday, as he nurses an upper body injury and their starter Jonas Hiller and back-up Viktor Fasth have been hurt as well. However Frederik Andersen has come in and succesfully filled-in as goalie for the Ducks.
Anaheim has a good mix of a fresh young team that has speed and scoring ability with veteran presence stirred in. Hampus Lindholm, a young top-10 pick is playing well on the blue line, while Corey Perry brings grit and an agitating style that has been successful on the offensive end. Coach Bruce Boudreau was also reunited with forward Mathieu Perreault and he seems to be playing well in the change of scenery
Ryan Malone has tallied two goals in his past three games, after only notching one through his previous 15 contests. Valtteri Filppula is now a perfect 3-for-3 in shootouts, including two of those tallies being game-winners.
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone, out) D Sami Salo (lower body, day-to-day), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Anaheim – F Ryan Getzlaf (upper body, day-to-day), G Jonas Hiller (flu, day-to-day), F Saku Koivu (concussion, out)
11/12 Recalled Forward J.T. Brown from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
11/12 Recalled Defenseman Dmitry Korobov from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Twitter Stat Pack:
With Tuesday’s win, the #Bolts sixth road victory of the year, they have already matched their win total on the road from last season (6-16-2).
The #TBLightning have won eight of their past 10 games overall, and four consecutive games at the @TBTimesForum.
The #TBLightning’s penalty kill unit has killed off 41 of their past 43 penalties (95.3%).
In their last game vs. the Ducks (Feb. 21, 2012), @TeddyPurcell16 scored the game-winning goal, while chipping in two assists.
The #Bolts @BenBishop30 currently sits one win away from matching his career best total of 13 wins in a season (2012-13).
“We understand this isn’t a one game absence for us, this is one of many, but we need to bring this type of effort and they’ve pretty much brought this all year. It was a big step in overcoming what we know is going to be a big challenge for us. This is a big step in knowing we can overcome it.” – Head coach Jon Cooper on picking up their first win amidst the loss of Steven Stamkos
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