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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 22nd (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (14-8-0) at Anaheim Ducks (15-6-3), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The bounces have stopped going the Anaheim Ducks' way and they'll try to snap their longest losing streak of the season on Friday night against a Tampa Bay Lightning club that routed them on the road a week ago.
Following a 15-3-2 start to the season, including victories in each of their first eight home games of the campaign, the Ducks have lost five straight since their last win on Nov. 10 at home versus Vancouver.
Two of Anaheim's setbacks on this skid have come past regulation, including Wednesday's 4-3 overtime defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. The Ducks gave up a late game-tying goal in the third, then saw defenseman Ben Lovejoy put the puck into his own net just under two minutes into overtime in the Ducks' first home setback of the campaign.
Lovejoy was attempting to clear the puck away from the front of his own net after a Jonas Hiller save, but instead saw the disc hit off teammate Corey Perry's leg and into the goal.
"It's even tougher to swallow that we're on a losing streak right now," said Lovejoy. "Up 3-2 with very little time left, they get a late goal. We were still trying to win that game. They came back on an odd-man rush, Jonas made the save, and I tried to clear it into the corner, but fired it off of Corey's shin pad."
Hiller made 21 saves and Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist. Ryan Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey also tallied for the Ducks, who are on their longest losing streak since a seven-game drought from Nov. 13-27, 2011.
Anaheim also lost defenseman Francois Beauchemin to an upper-body injury in the second period and he is day-to-day.
The Ducks went winless on a four-game road trip prior to Wednesday's home loss and that fruitless swing included a 5-1 setback to Tampa Bay on Nov. 14. Hiller gave up all five goals on 20 shots faced, falling to 3-3-0 with a 2.95 goals against average in six career games versus the Lightning.
It was Tampa Bay's second straight win over the Ducks, but they have lost two straight and four of their last six in Anaheim.
Valtteri Filppula scored twice for the Bolts in the 5-1 win and also had an assist. Martin St. Louis added a goal and two helpers, while Ben Bishop made 24 saves.
Bishop was making his first career start versus the Ducks and is likely to face them again tonight after Anders Lindback allowed five goals on 36 shots in last night's 5-1 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
Tampa Bay's first losing streak of the season reached three straight games and it has been outscored 16-6 over that time.
Bolts coach Jon Cooper isn't worried about the goal-scoring production as much as the defensive side of things.
"My concern is we've given up 15 goals with the goalie in the net in three games," Cooper said. "If you're going to give up five a game, the chances of you winning are not good and that's been our problem."
Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who try to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip after falling to 6-6-0 as the guest.
11/22 11:36:57 ET