By Aaron Francis
The Anaheim Ducks played host to the Tampa Bay Lightning after losing to the Blues in overtime on Sunday. Anaheim lost their winning streak but continued a 4 game point streak after the loss. Tampa Bay was coming off a win against the Kings the previous night and continue to be without the services of their captain Steven Stamkos. For the Ducks, John Gibson was in goal and Ben Bishop started for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay came out strong this period, continuing their momentum from their previous game. Anaheim’s best chance this period came off a strange play that saw Ryan Getzlaf fake out Bishop and attempt a wrap around that went wide of the goal and missed the empty net. Cam Fowler would take a hooking penalty trying to stop a breakout chance for Tampa and the Ducks went on the penalty kill. The Ducks managed to kill off the penalty but Corey Perry would be called for interference sending the Ducks back a man down. Once again the penalty kill succeeded though at times the Lightning seemed close to having the games first goal. Towards the end of the period, Erik Condra gave the Ducks their own power play but they couldn’t convert with the extra man. Shots at the end of the period were 7-2 Lightning.
Both teams would find the back of the net this period but would end where they started. After an extended amount of time in the Ducks zone, the Lightning would finally break through. Valtteri Filppula tipped in a shot from Nikita Nesterov and would break the tie, 1-0 Lightning. But just 21 seconds later, Anaheim would respond with their own goal. The Ducks sent a shot through the Lightning crease and as Tampa Bay’s defense attempted to move the puck up ice Ryan Getzlaf stole the puck and fired it past an unsuspecting Bishop, 1-1 tie. Tampa Bay went back to the power play this period after Corey Perry was called for holding, but Anaheim’s penalty kill responded with a strong effort. The Ducks lone power play came up empty and couldn’t capitalize on the Lightning’s too many men penalty. Shots at the end of the second were 18-9 Lightning.
The games score remained the same after this period despite many chances for both teams and would end up going to overtime. Tampa Bay pressured Anaheim to start this period with dangerous offensive chances. None were better however than the backhand chance by Gabriel Dumont that was stopped with a huge toe-pad save by John Gibson. The Ducks received two power play chances this period to gain the lead but couldn’t find a way to get set up and beat Ben Bishop. The first came as Luke Witkowski took a high sticking penalty on Perry. This attempt came up empty and after Bishop took a delay of game penalty, the Ducks would try again. Both Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm had chances but neither could score with the extra man. The two teams battled the rest of the way and the game needed extra time to be decided. Shots at the end of regulation were 28-19 Lightning.
After losing their last game 2-1 in overtime, the Ducks flipped the script and were able to leave the ice as victors in the overtime session. Off the face-off, the Ducks maintained possession and were able to get a shot at Bishop. The Lightning attempted to go the other way but after entering the zone, Tyler Johnson gave the puck up to Cam Fowler and took a hooking penalty to try and slow him down. With the extra man, the Ducks won the face-off and Rickard Rakell sent a shot in past Bishop who wasn’t able to see the release, 2-1 Ducks win. The final shot total was 28-21 Lightning.
Despite being outplayed early, the Ducks were able to address the elephant in the room and snag the extra point in overtime. Coming off a strong but disappointing performance on Sunday it was important that Anaheim learned from the loss and put it towards their next outing. They clearly accomplished this, playing a strong final period and carrying that into overtime where they were able to get the win and the two points.
There is still much to improve on, as at times this game the Ducks seemed to sit back and allow the Lightning to get chances to score. Gibson played well despite being left without help at times and the Ducks need to improve their full 60-minute effort.
Rickard Rakell scored his 19th goal of the season and is now first on the Ducks in goals scored.
John Gibson stopped 27 of 28 finishing with a .964 save percentage.
The Ducks are on a 5 game point streak.
Anaheim remains in first place in the Pacific Division.
The Ducks will host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday at 7 pm PST
Click below to see the highlights from the Ducks win!
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January 18, 2017