Ducks drop late to Lightning 2-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have rolled over a lot of teams on the way to the NHL’s best record. Their latest win came against an Anaheim Ducks team that had handed them one of their two regulation losses this season.
.T. Brown scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, leading the Lightning to a 2-1 victory Sunday night for their fourth straight win. Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for Tampa Bay and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots.
“It was definitely a goaltending duel tonight,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Anaheim goalie John Gibson had 35 saves and was put under almost constant pressure, particularly in the first two periods when the Lightning outshot the Ducks 29-14.
“We didn’t have a very good start obviously,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “They managed the puck, had control of the puck much more than we did early in the hockey game. We were standing around watching. We were playing in awe of them.”
Jakob Silfverberg scored Anaheim’s lone goal.
Tampa Bay finally got through against Gibson at 9:12 of the second period. The Lightning were on a power play when forward Nikita Kucherov’s shot from eight feet out was deflected by Gibson but right to Namestnikov, who flicked in the rebound for his ninth goal of the season.
“I thought Gibson played outstanding tonight,” Cooper said. “We just couldn’t get that extra one to pull away from them.”
The Ducks finally broke through against Vasilevskiy 3:48 into the third period when Silfverberg knocked in a rebound off Chris Wagner’s shot. It was Silfverberg’s fifth goal of the season, but third in two games.
Brown put the Lightning ahead at 7:18 of the third with his first of the season.
The Ducks thought they tied the game nearly two minutes later on their only power play of the night on a shot by Brandon Montour. The puck was trapped and hidden under the left-leg pad of Vasilevskiy. His leg may have slid over the line with the puck, but after a lengthy review officials ruled there was no clear evidence.
“I thought that was in,” Vasilevskiy said. “I did not really see what happened. Guys just started screaming, `Hold it. Hold it.’ I thought it was in the net already, but stuff like that happens. Got lucky on that.”
Not for the Ducks.
“I think everybody in the building would say it appeared to be in, but you have to have definitive proof the puck was in the net,” Carlyle said. “That’s the rules. It’s unfortunate that didn’t go in our favor, but truthfully could you tell if the puck was into the net? Everybody thought it was, but it was under the pad.”
The Lightning pushed their league-leading points total to 30 and completed a 3-0 trip through California.
“It’s been a long trip,” said Tampa Bay forward Chris Kunitz. “But I think we came out and started the first period really well. We outshot them and outchanced them by pushing the pace.”
NOTES: The Lightning outshot the Ducks 17-7 in a scoreless first period. … Anaheim had defeated the Lightning 4-1 in Tampa on Oct. 28. … The Lightning have won five of their last six, are now 7-1-1 away from home and have won six consecutive on the road. … Kunitz on the lengthy replay review on Montour’s shot in the third period: “I was just hoping they didn’t have a different view than we did.”
Lightning: Host Dallas on Thursday night..
Ducks: Host Boston on Wednesday night in the fourth of five consecutive home games.