Tampa Bay 6-4-0; Ducks 5-3-2
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Friday’s game marks the second and final contest between the Bolts and the Ducks this season and the only meeting at Honda Center. In their first tilt last week, the Lightning stunned one of the top teams in the Western Conference with a 5-1 win at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Valtteri Filppula, Victor Hedman and Martin St. Louis all recorded multi-point games in the victory.
Tampa Bay looks to snap their first three-game losing streak of the season in the final match-up of their west coast tour against the Ducks. The Lightning, who have been outscored 16-6 in three games during this three-game road trip, play an Anaheim team who has lost five-straight. The Ducks have been outscored 18-9 in that span.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay saw its defense-first system break down in the past three games. Trailing 2-0 in the first period in each of those contests, the Bolts have not been able to recover, probably scrambling to get points on the board, Their lack of a five-man defensive mentality has then led to an even more unbalanced game for the Lightning and more goals against.
However, the Bolts played their most solid hockey on the road versus the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, keeping pace in the shots on goal department, but never able to capitalize on the opportunities like the Sharks. Head coach Jon Cooper also made some changes to the Bolts’ line combinations, including placing Filppula as the first line center and moving Brett Connolly to a fourth-line wing. Yet, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik, who have survived the switches, have continued to produce.
In their third set of back-to-back games this month, Tampa Bay hopes to salvage two of a possible eight points on the road, before playing six of their next eight at home.
DUCKS –Winning eight of nine and their first five games of November, the Ducks have found themselves skidding in mid-November. Though still a top team in the Pacific Division (tied with the Sharks for points with 33) Anaheim has been winless since November 12.
It is not where they Ducks expected to be, especially since their starter, Jonas Hiller, and Viktor Fasth battled back from ailments and returned to the lineup. The third period has been the biggest issue for Anaheim in their latest losses. Mainly winning or tied heading into the final frame, the Ducks have been outscored by a combined total of 2-7 in the third period.
With captain Ryan Getzlaf just two games into re-joining the Ducks, he and the rest of his teammates aim to continue the Bolts’ woes out west. It is also Anaheim’s first game of a back-to-back that features the Phoenix Coyotes in the back end on Saturday.
The “Kid Line” compromised of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik helped produce the Lightning’s lone goal in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night. Johnson has strung together a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists), while Palat and Panik have added four points through their past four.
Lightning – D Keith Aulie (upper body, out), D Brian Lee (knee, out), F Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone, out), F Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia, out); Ducks – F Francois Beauchemin (day-to-day), F Saku Koivu (concussion, out), F Jakob Silfverberg (broken right hand, out)
Recent Lightning Transactions:
11/20 Reassigned Defenseman Dmitry Korobov to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Twitter Stat Pack:
With the lone goal Thursday, the #Bolts @tjohnny09 is riding a four-game point streak (one goal, three assists).
The “Kid Line” compromised of @tjohnny09, @opalat18 and Richard Panik has combined for eight points in their past four games.
The #Bolts @TeddyPurcell16’s seven shots on goal was a team-high Thursday and a season-high for the right-winger.
Leading the way with a total of 21:45 TOI, @radkogudas also recorded four shots on goal, eight hits and two blocks vs. the Sharks.
“Six points have been on the table and we have yet to find one, so for me, that’s a rough trip. Things have been going our way for a long time to start the year and now, not so much. People are going to look at the fact that we’re not scoring too many goals right now. My concern is we’ve given up 15 goals with the goalie in the net in three games. If you’re going to give up five goals a game the chances of you winning are not good and that’s been our problem.” – Head coach Jon Cooper on the Bolts three-game losing streak
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