TAMPA — Home hasn't been too kind lately for the Lightning.
It has struggled at home this season, and it had lost three straight games at Amalie Arena entering Saturday's game against the Ducks. With the Lightning needing every point it can get to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race, it can't afford to give away home points, especially in games it controls.
Unlike in the previous contests in which Tampa Bay has gone through lulls, it played pretty consistently Saturday. Like the teams' first meeting this season, a 2-1 Ducks overtime win last month, the game needed more time after regulation to decide it. This time, the Lightning won in a shootout.
Brian Boyle snapped the puck past Jonathan Bernier in the shootout for the winner to finish a 3-2 victory.
Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout as well for the Lightning, which needed Ben Bishop to stop Corey Perry to gain the extra point.
"What I didn't like is the fact we gave up the lead," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team blew a 2-1 lead in the third period. "But the big thing for us, maybe in recent games we may have wilted then. But we kept creating chances. We went into overtime and I don't think we gave up a shot (the Lightning didn't). That was the difference tonight. Even when adversity struck, they said, 'Okay, enough.' "
Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn scored in regulation for Tampa Bay. Brandon Montour and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks.
The Lightning outshot the Ducks 37-16, but Bernier made 35 saves to keep Anaheim in the game. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop made 14 saves.
Tampa Bay hopes the win will spur a run. Though the Lightning remains in last place in the Eastern Conference, it pulled within seven points of the second wild-card spot that the Flyers hold with 59 points. Tampa Bay improved to 23-24-6 and 52 points.
"To start getting points, you have to start playing the right way and be consistent," Killorn said. "I don't think we were consistent in the last two games after the (All-Star) break (last weekend). (Saturday) it seemed like a really consistent three-period effort, something we haven't had a ton of. This is something we want to use going into the next game."
It started from the beginning for the Lightning. Maybe there is something about the Ducks the Lightning likes. Entering Saturday, it hadn't lost in regulation to Anaheim since Dec. 9, 2006 (7-0-5), and Tampa Bay had won four in a row at home against the Ducks.
The Lightning fell behind 1-0, but Drouin tied it with a nifty move in the first. In the second period, the Lightning dominated and took a 2-1 lead on Killorn's goal. Tampa Bay held Anaheim without a shot for the first 17 minutes in the period and outshot the Ducks 15-4 in the second.
After Getzlaf knotted the score 4:02 into the third period, the Lightning did not collapse.
|Lightning wins shootout 3-2|
|Lightning wins shootout 3-2|
First Period—1, Anaheim, Montour 1 (Kesler, Silfverberg), 8:14. 2, Tampa Bay, Drouin 15 (Kucherov, Johnson), 9:48. Penalties—Dumont, TB, (high sticking), 2:08; Theodore, ANA, (hooking), 7:33; Drouin, TB, (interference), 7:36; Brown, TB, Major (fighting), 10:52; Cramarossa, ANA, Major (fighting), 10:52; Johnson, TB, (interference), 12:24; Coburn, TB, (slashing), 18:00; Perry, ANA, (roughing), 18:00; Kesler, ANA, (hooking), 18:47.
Second Period—3, Tampa Bay, Killorn 16 (Kucherov), 10:56 (pp). Penalties—Montour, ANA, (hooking), 9:24; Paquette, TB, (tripping), 11:16; Vermette, ANA, (interference), 13:12; Theodore, ANA, (high sticking), 16:33; Theodore, ANA, (high sticking), 16:33; Kucherov, TB, (cross checking), 18:11.
Third Period—4, Anaheim, Getzlaf 8 (Kesler, Bieksa), 4:02. Penalties—Thompson, ANA, (elbowing), 10:19; Hedman, TB, (hooking), 11:19.
Shootout—Anaheim 2 (Silfverberg G, Getzlaf G, Rakell NG, Perry NG), Tampa Bay 3 (Point G, Drouin NG, Kucherov G, Boyle G). Shots on Goal—Anaheim 9-4-3-0—16. Tampa Bay 7-15-10-5—37. Power-play opportunities—Anaheim 0 of 5; Tampa Bay 1 of 7. Goalies—Anaheim, Bernier 8-4-2 (37 shots-35 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 12-12-3 (16-14). A—19,092 (19,204).