ANAHEIM, Calif. – Building off of their effort in Thursday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Tampa Bay Lightning remained neck-and-neck with the Anaheim Ducks for more than 60 minutes Friday night at Honda Center.
“These guys were determined tonight,” head coach Jon Cooper said.
Yet with five seconds remaining in overtime, the Bolts let one slip by falling, 1-0, in their fourth straight lost and their first in extra time.
“There’s a lot to salvage out of this one,” Cooper continued. “Getting one point is better than getting none. Pretty entertaining 0-0 game, fans got their money worth tonight.”
Tampa Bay’s lineup paid much credit to goaltender Ben Bishop, who faced 43 shots, just two shy of his career-high (45), while Jonas Hiller was the difference on the opposite side of the ice.
Despite Anaheim having the 28th penalty kill out of 30 teams, the Lightning struggled on the man-advantage through 40 minutes. Going 0-for-5 on the power play, the Bolts allowed five shorthanded rushes, including three breakaways from the Ducks by the end of the second.
The two clubs remained scoreless though heading into the final period of play, as both goalies were amidst a duel in net. While the Ducks Viktor Fasth was slated to start, he succumbed to a lower body injury during warm-ups, giving Hiller the go.
The biggest opportunity to take the lead came from the line of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik midway through the game. Panik nearly scored on a deflection and the entire trio penetrated Anaheim’s zone, but were unable to finish the play.
In the meantime the Bolts lost Radko Gudas, who was forced to drop the gloves with Luca Sbisa after having to answer for a hit on Matthieu Perreault. At the conclusion of the bout nearing the final minutes of the first, Gudas left for the dressing room, but returned in the second with ice on his face. At the beginning of the third however, it was announced he would not return to the contest with an upper body injury.
The Lightning and Ducks remained scoreless through 60 minutes, stopping a combined 67 shots. Extra time meant that Anaheim remained undefeated at home in regulation, while the Bolts attempted to remain perfect in overtime/shootouts. However the Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf scored on a Panik turnover with just 5.2 seconds left in the extra period to seal a 1-0 win for Anaheim, helping them claim the top spot in the Pacific Division.
“It’s why the game is great,” Cooper said. “Ten seconds left in the game and one team is going on a rush one way and the puck ends up in the net the other way. What comes around goes around at some point that bounce will go our way, just didn’t tonight.”
UP NEXT – Tampa Bay returns from Southern California immediately following Friday’s game and will exercise a day off Saturday. They then return to the ice Sunday for an 11:00 a.m. practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for three games against the Metropolitan Division next week.
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