Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning tops West-leading Ducks

TAMPA — With Steven Stamkos out indefinitely with a broken right tibia, the Lightning has to make up about three-quarters of a goal per game, coach Jon Cooper figures.

It's an easy calculation. Stamkos had 14 goals in 17 games, which means he scored about three-quarters of a goal per game.

"But it's not, 'Who is going to score that extra goal we're missing?' " Cooper said. "We have to keep that extra three-quarters of a goal out of our net."

In its 5-1 victory over the Ducks on Thursday night in front of an announced crowd of 17,763 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Lightning put on a textbook exhibition of how to do that.

Against the top team in the Western Conference, Tampa Bay, 14-5-0 and No. 1 in the East, played keep-away with the puck. Intense back pressure from the forwards also allowed defensemen to have good gaps on the opponent, which made it difficult for Anaheim to get through the neutral zone.

Even when Anaheim did make it to the offensive zone, it had little sustained pressure and few Grade A chances.

Despite being outshot 25-20, including 25-14 in the final 46 minutes, the Lightning was in total control.

"We managed the game," Cooper said. "When we started rolling in the offensive zone, we passed on some shots, no question. But I'm not down on our guys for that at all. We built our lead and didn't want to give it up."

Valtteri Filppula was a catalyst, with two goals and three points. Marty St. Louis had three points, including his first goal in eight games. Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman also scored, and goaltender Ben Bishop got his league-best 12th win with 24 saves, including six during a first-period penalty kill that preserved a 1-0 lead.

"We earned it," St. Louis said. "We skated. Our puck possession was good. We got our D involved, and you end up attacking with five and defending with five, which is a lot easier."

The defense-first message has been Cooper's since training camp. But with Stamkos out indefinitely, it has been turned up a notch. And in the two games Stamkos has missed, both wins, Tampa Bay allowed a combined two goals.

It also produced on Thursday a prime example of how defense leads to offense. Filppula pickpocketed Rickard Rakell, which caused a holding penalty. Filppula then scored on the power play for a 3-0 second-period lead.

"All-around, a pretty good game," Filppula said. "We're forced to play well without (Stamkos). We have the confidence we can do it."

Lightning 2 2 1 5
Ducks 0 1 0 1

 

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Filppula 7 (Purcell, Carle), 11:52. 2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 8 (Brown, Filppula), 16:25 (pp). PenaltiesMaroon, Ana, major (fighting), 9:31; Crombeen, TB, major (fighting), 9:31; Johnson, TB (tripping), 13:14; Winnik, Ana (holding), 15:49; Allen, Ana, major (fighting), 19:54; Malone, TB, major (fighting), 19:54.

Second Period3, Tampa Bay, Filppula 8 (Hedman, St. Louis), 3:16 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Killorn 5 (St. Louis, Barberio), 10:51. 5, Anaheim, Etem 5 (Fowler, Beauchemin), 16:07. PenaltiesRakell, Ana (holding), 1:31; Selanne, Ana (roughing), 13:29; Gudas, TB (roughing, holding), 13:29; Palmieri, Ana (high-sticking), 14:55; Palat, TB (charging), 15:25.

Third Period6, Tampa Bay, Hedman 3 (Panik, Johnson), 2:05. PenaltiesLovejoy, Ana (roughing), 5:29; Panik, TB (boarding), 5:29. Shots on GoalAnaheim 8-9-8—25. Tampa Bay 8-10-2—20. Power-play opportunitiesAnaheim 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 2 of 2. GoaliesAnaheim, Hiller 7-3-1 (20 shots-15 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 13-2-0 (25-24). A17,763 (19,204). T2:31. Referees—Brad Meier, Kelly Sutherland. LinesmenGreg Devorski, Bryan Pancich.

     
                                       
Comments
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

GLENDALE, Ariz — Nikita Kucherov’s toughest challenge isn’t facing Canadiens goalie Carey Price, or Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.It comes in practice against Andrei Vasilevskiy. "I’ve been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the leag...
Published: 12/13/17
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Published: 12/13/17
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Published: 12/12/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Published: 12/12/17