NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, November 14th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (15-4-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (13-5-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams leading their respective conferences in
points will meet Thursday in Tampa, as the Lightning welcome the Anaheim Ducks
for a showdown at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Ducks lead the NHL and the Western Conference with 31 points, while the
Lightning, who recently lost superstar centerman Steven Stamkos to a broken
leg, are pacing the East with 26 points.
Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia in the second period of Monday's 3-0
loss in Boston and underwent surgery on Tuesday. There is no specific
timetable for the sniper's return, but Stamkos is likely to miss months of
Despite losing their leading goal scorer (14) and point producer (23) for this
season, the Lightning managed to win in Montreal the day after Stamkos'
injury. Valtteri Filppula scored the only goal of the shootout as Tampa Bay
claimed a 2-1 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Filppula scored on Tampa's first chance as he deked back to the forehand and
lifted a shot high to the left side past Carey Price. Ben Bishop then stopped
a Danny Briere chance before stopping a Brendan Gallagher shot for the win.
"It was tough to lose a player like Stamkos, but it's a team sport," said
Bishop. "We're going to have to move forward. The guys played great tonight.
We could have scored more, but their goalie played a great game."
It was the fifth win in six games for the Lightning, who received 28 stops
from Bishop through regulation and overtime. Ryan Malone also scored in the
first period for Tampa.
The Bolts are 7-2-0 on home ice this season, but will embark on a four-game
road trip after tonight's contest. Tampa is scheduled to visit Phoenix, Los
Angeles and San Jose before completing the swing in Anaheim on Nov. 22.
Anaheim has taken six of the last eight meetings with the Lightning overall
and has six wins in the past nine encounters in Central Florida.
The Ducks, who are a perfect 8-0 on home ice this season, opened a four-game
road trip with a regulation loss at Florida on Tuesday. The setback dropped
Anaheim's road record to 7-4-1 and halted the club's point streak at nine
Brad Boyes netted the game-winner 4:29 into the third period, as the Panthers
potted three unanswered goals to shock the Ducks at BB&T Center. Anaheim led
Florida by a 2-0 score after 20 minutes before rallying for just its fourth
win of the season.
Andrew Cogliano and Hampus Lindholm each lit the lamp once for the Ducks,
while rookie netminder Frederik Andersen suffered his first career loss.
Andersen entered the game undefeated in six starts this season, but gave up
all three goals on 25 shots to fall to 6-1-0 in his young career.
"We took it for granted that we were going to beat them," Andersen admitted.
"They caught up with us in the second period."
Jonas Hiller is dealing with an illness but could get the start on Thursday.
He is 3-2-0 with a 2.55 goals against average in five career outings versus
The Ducks played the last two games without top centerman Ryan Getzlaf, who is
battling an upper-body injury. Getzlaf, who is leading Anaheim with 22 points
this season, is expected to sit out a third straight contest tonight. Fellow
forward Kyle Palmieri is questionable for Thursday after missing Tuesday's
game with an illness.
11/14 10:49:27 ET