Lightning (7-2-1) at Ducks (4-7-1)
Season Series: This is the only meeting of the season between two clubs. Last year, the two teams met twice, with the Lightning earning a pair of points, falling once in overtime and again in the shootout.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay is among the top teams in the NHL with 15 points and are off to a 7-2-1 start, its best since 2003-04 when the Bolts started the season 7-1-1 and won the Stanley Cup. The Lightning’s fast start also marks the first time in franchise history in which the team has finished the first month of the season with the top record in the Eastern Conference. Two of the league’s top point getters will also face off tonight, as Steven Stamkos comes in with an NHL-leading 19 points and Ryan Getzlaf comes in behind him with 15.
LIGHTNING – Following a 3-0 shutout to begin its four-game road trip on the West Coast, the Bolts play in the second contest away from home tonight at the Honda Center. The Lightning come in as winners of three of the last four. Steven Stamkos continued his record goal-scoring pace in the team’s last win on Saturday night in Phoenix, scoring a third-period goal that helped goaltender Dan Ellis (23 saves) earn his 11th career shutout. Adam Hall also scored and Mattias Ritola notched his first career NHL goal in the win.
DUCKS – Anaheim plays at home tonight in the first of the three games on the team’s current home stand. The Ducks come into tonight’s contest as winners in just three of their last seven games. Anaheim has scored just three goals in its last two games, including just two in the team’s 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Sharks on Saturday. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each scored power-play goals, but San Jose got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period before adding three additional tallies in the second.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has a six-game point streak with 13 points in that span and Nate Thompson comes in with an assist in three straight games. Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each have collected four points apiece in their last three games.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Dominic Moore (lower body, day-to-day), Matt Smaby (ankle sprain, day-to-day) and Simon Gagne (neck, day-to-day, placed on Injured Reserve). DUCKS – Joffrey Lupul, Andy Sutton, Matt Beleskey and Dan Sexton.
Quotable: “It's been a learning process, learning everything that (goaltender coach) Frantz (Jean) has been teaching me, there are some adjustments and a little bit of a learning curve. I've just tried to play simpler, try to get my feet moving a lot quicker so I'm not reaching in to pucks so that they are coming to me and I think the more as a goalie that you can get your feet set, usually if you can beat a pass or something like that you have a better chance of stopping it. So I'm just trying to keep a good puck focus, good foot movement and try to follow the rebounds.” – Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis, on the reason for his recent success
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