Lightning struggle to get pucks past Ryan Miller in 3-1 loss to Ducks

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks had the right response coming off a disappointing loss.

Ryan Miller made 34 saves, Nick Ritchie had a goal and an assist, and the Ducks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Anaheim started a five-game road trip Sunday with a 5-2 loss at Nashville.

“We have more competitiveness in our hockey club than we displayed in our last game, and we had to demonstrate that,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We felt that the game we played the other night was nowhere near what we’re capable of playing. Tonight we were much more competitive around the puck.

“And we had stellar goaltending again tonight.”

Miller won his 373rd game, moving past Andy Moog for sole possession of 17th place on the career wins list. He also moved within a victory of tying John Vanbiesbrouck for the most by a U.S.-born goalie.

Josh Manson and Carter Rowney also scored for the Ducks.

“It’s a game where we kind of built a game,” Miller said. “I think we’ve been trying to build confidence. We had some chances, they had some chances, but we felt like our game was pretty good.”

Miller stopped Victor Hedman‘s first-period rebound with this left arm while prone on the ice, and turned aside Brayden Point‘s shot on a breakaway in the second.

Tampa Bay, 3-1-0 on a five-game homestand, got a goal from Point. Louis Domingue stopped 19 shots.

“We doubled their scoring chances,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I thought the boys played pretty well.” 

The Lightning fell one point behind Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo.

The Ducks went up 3-1 on goals by Ritchie and Rowney in a 48-second span early in the third period.

Ritchie swatted home a knee-high puck after Pontus Aberg‘s power-play shot went off the glass and wound up in front of the crease at 4:51 of the third.

“That’s a big break for them,” Cooper said.

Rowney made it 3-1 on a backhander. Aberg had two assists.

Point skated down the slot and got his 18th goal of the season off a pass from behind the net by Nikita Kucherov, tying it at 1-all with 1:26 left in the second.

Kucherov has 13 assists and 15 points during a seven-game points streak. Point has four goals and six points over his last three games.

Manson opened the scoring from the low slot at 12:04 of the second after Domingue stopped Adam Henrique‘s attempt to stuff the puck into the net from near the post.

“That’s a way better effort from our team all around,” Manson said. “That’s the kind of game we should expect from ourselves every night.” 

NOTES: Miller is 23-10 against Tampa Bay. … Lightning LW Ondrej Palat (foot) missed his 16th straight game, but is practicing. … Tampa Bay hasn’t a provided an update after a re-evaluation of D Anton Stralman (upper body), who sat his ninth consecutive game. … Rowney (upper body) returned after missing 20 games.

UP NEXT

Ducks: At Florida on Wednesday.

Lightning: Host Buffalo on Thursday. The Sabres will be looking for a franchise record 11th consecutive win.