Anaheim Ducks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the cross-conference opponents. The Ducks took the only matchup a year ago by earning a 3-2 win in their own home arena, with Ryan Getzlaf tallying the game-winning goal in overtime.
The Big Story:
A recent surge has led to a playoff revival for both teams. The Lightning have strung together back-to-back wins that have them just six points out of the final playoff spot in the East, while Anaheim has earned points in nine of its past 10 games and trail Calgary by just five points for the eighth seed in the West.
LIGHTNING – The Bolts complete a four-game home stand against the Ducks before hitting the road for three straight beginning Thursday. Tampa Bay has won three of its past five games and finds itself just six points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the division-rival Washington Capitals Saturday night. Steven Stamkos
scored his league-leading 40th goal of the season to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead before Washington cut the deficit in half midway through the second frame. Clinging to a one-goal lead for the final 30 minutes, Mathieu Garon
was strong down the stretch, especially late in the third, en route to stopping all but one of his 24 shots faced on the night. The victory also marked Tampa Bay’s sixth in its past nine at home.
DUCKS – Anaheim continues on its eight-game road trip, with its game against the Lightning serving as the second of three straight against a Southeast opponent. The Ducks have enjoyed a surge similar to that of the Lightning, having won six of their past eight and earning a single point in the other two contests, both of which were shootout losses. The team’s most recent outing not only helped its own playoff chances, but those of Tampa Bay as well, after it defeated the Southeast Division-leading Panthers 2-0 on Sunday. Teemu Selanne had a first-period goal to support a 31-save effort by goaltender Jonas Hiller and Niklas Hagman all but sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the game’s final half-minute to help the Ducks collect at least a point for the ninth consecutive game.
For the Lightning, Steven Stamkos
has goals in consecutive games, including his 40th of the season on Saturday that made him just the fifth player in NHL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 40 goals in each before the age of 23. Teddy Purcell
also has points in all but one of his past seven games, recording a goal and eight points in that span. Ducks’ forward Corey Perry has goals in four of his past five games, scoring six times over that stretch.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund
(knee, placed on Injured Reserve) and Dana Tyrell
(ACL, out for season, placed on Injured Reserve).
DUCKS – Dan Ellis (groin) and Bobby Ryan (leg).
“Fight, fight, fight. I always felt and still feel like that’s our trademark. I think all around everybody is very dedicated to that, so that’s a good thing.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, on his team’s continued resiliency as it pushes for the playoffs
Lightning forward Ryan Shannon
is a one-time Duck and had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup as a member of Anaheim’s championship team back in 2007. Ducks net minder Dan Ellis spent a portion of last season with the Lightning, appearing in 31 games with the Bolts.