Ducks Hand Lightning First Home Loss of 2017
The Anaheim Ducks came into Tampa tonight looking to win in a building that hasn’t been too kind to them. The Ducks had not won in Tampa since 2010, and in their last nine games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, The Bolts hold a 7-0-2 record.
Recent history not kind to Anaheim.
In those nine games Tampa has three very important stats showing why Anaheim has struggled against the Lightning. The first stat is a plus 14 goal differential (Meaning the Bolts have outscored the Ducks by 14 goals). Next up the Lightning at 19.4% on the power play, but the Bolts are also 93.3% on the penalty kill. So, you can see why the Lightning have a 7-0-2 record in their last nine meetings against the Ducks.
To start the first period, Tampa bay was outshot 4-2 by Anaheim. The rest of the period the Ducks only managed one shot through the final 18:42 of the period. For Peter Budaj who started in net for the Lightning this is both a good and bad thing. Seeing as how he hasn’t played in a week or two, only facing five shots all period could hurt him in the long run as most goalies are better getting more shots following a long time off. The Lightning blueliners blocked 10 shots through one period.
Ducks Power Past Lightning Penalty Kill
With half the second period in the books, Ryan Callahan would head to the penalty box for interference. Heading into that penalty kill the Lightning had killed 14 of their last 16 penalty kills. Rickard Rakell would not let them go 15 for 17. Having only right shots through 30 minutes, Rakell would rush Budaj and get a shot off that would slip past the Lightning netminder. Ryan Getzlaf and Brandon Montour would get the assists.
Later in the Second Tampa would get hit with a too many men on the ice, Montour and Getzlaf would combine again on the power play giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead. Getzlaf would get assists on both goals.
While it wasn’t on the power play, the Lightning now know how it feels to get scored on with basically no time left. With 0:01 left on the clock in the second period Hampus Lindholm would get the Ducks back their two-goal lead as both teams went to the locker room for the second intermission.
Rakell Wasn’t Finished in the Second
Near the midway point of the third period Rickard Rekell would notch his second goal of the game, fifth of the season. The goal came after the Lightning had arguably their best power play of the night. While Rekell has scored two goals in a game numerous times, he once again fell one goal short of a hat trick tonight.
Kunitz scores against his first team
So far, this season Chris Kunitz has two goals, both have come against teams he played for. The first goal came against the last team he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, his goal tonight came against the team he started with. Kunitz was an undrafted free agent when he signed with the Ducks during the 2003-04 season. Through his career he has 252 goals, most of them with Pittsburgh whom he played nine seasons for. His goal tonight would come :57 seconds after Anaheim took a 2-0 lead.
Gibson Silences Bolts Potent Offense
John Gibson who came into tonight’s game with a 4-3-1 record, stifled the Bolts scorers keeping the number one team in the NHL to only one goal. The Lightning went 0-4 on the power play tonight. While Gibson is not a household name, last season in 49 games he went 25-16-9 with a 3.03 GAA.
Shot Blocking Machine
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) October 28, 2017
When one of the newest Lightning players Dan Girardi stepped onto the ice tonight, he had would be playing in his 800th NHL game. Now that’s not the only interesting stat regarding Girardi. Since 2006-2007, Girardi has blocked 1,817 shots. Now that may not be an impressive stat to most, put it into perspective that over that same time frame there are 138 goalies who have saved fewer than 1,800 shots in the same time frame.
Point Streaks Come to an End
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov’s 11 game point streaks to open the season came to an end tonight. They will have to wait until the 2017-18 season to try and break Martin St Louis’ 11 game point streak to open a season.
Up Next… The Tampa Bay Lightning will travel to Sunrise to face the Florida Panthers on Monday.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd – Ryan Getz: Three assists
2nd – Rickard Rekell: 2 Goals
1st – John Gibson: Stopped all 31 shots, kept the Ducks in this game.
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