Game 59: Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning

February 21, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett Connolly (14) handles the puck while guarded by Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino (63) at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday night.

Games days are becoming busier than usual at 401 Channelside Drive. Saturday, prior to the Lightning's win over the Washington Capitals, the anticipated trade of defenseman Pavel Kubina was completed. Things around the Forum were quiet for a couple of days after that as the team was off. Then today, a small flurry of personnel moves preceded the game against the Anaheim Ducks, including the departure of forward Steve Downie and an update on forward and team captain Vincent Lecavalier (check the notes below the game recap for details).

"It was a tough day for a lot of us, you know? To come to the rink and find that out. Downs has been a warrior for this team. He's gonna be missed because he's got a great personality. He's always in the mix. Always a lot of laughs with Downs. He's a heck of a hockey player. He always played with a lot of heart." - Martin St. Louis
"It's the business of hockey sometimes. It's not always pretty and we don't have control of it. He was a great friend and a great teammate and just wish him the best of luck and move on the best we can. I think we were able to do that with a big win tonight." - Steven Stamkos

The Bolts got things started quickly. They went on the powerplay at 22 seconds when Cam Fowler was called for hooking. It took all of six sconds to cash in against Jonas Hiller as Steven Stamkos scored on assists from Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell.

They pushed the lead to 2-0 late in the period when Stamkos scored again, this time on a rebound off the end boards at 17:58. Brett Clark and Purcell were credited with the assists.

It was the Ducks' turn to get off to the quick start to begin the second period, when Saku Koivu beat Bolts netminder Mathieu Garon at the :40 mark with assists from Bobby Ryan and Cam Fowler.

Purcell answered back exactly two minutes later, scoring on assists from Stamkos and Matt Gilroy.

The Ducks pulled to within one again when Ryan scored at 18:58 with an assist from Koivu.

The teams headed into the second intermission with the Lightning in front 3-2.

The third period saw the Lightning withstand pressure from Anaheim but Garon was solid throughout, eventually stopping 28 shots, including 11 each in the final two periods.

This concludes a four-game homestand, during which the Lightning earned six of a possible eight points and find themselves five points behind both the Toronto Maple Leafs for the eight spot in the Eastern Conference and the Florida Panthers for first place in the Southeast Division. They begin a three-game road trip Friday with stops in Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

"The reality is we know where we are. We know what we're missing. But we also know that the guys that are there are dedicated to do whatever they need to do. And I think the players are really buying into doing exactly, specifically what their roles are and that's going to be key for us. The minute we get out of that we're going to be in trouble. That trip that's coming is something we've seen before...right now, we keep swinging the bat. We're not waiting for balls to go by so we can walk. We don't want to walk, we want to swing. So we're swinging. " - head coach Guy Boucher

Game notes:

  • The Lightning traded forward Steve Downie to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincey. Tampa Bay then sent Quincey to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for their first-round pick and defenseman Sebastien Piche. Piche was assigned to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.
  • Forward Mike Angelidis was called up from the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL.
  • The Lightning have acquired forward Brendon Segal from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Matt Fornataro. Segal, 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, has played in 53 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League this season, collecting 13 goals and 25 points, to go along with 63 penalty minutes. Segal ranks fourth on the IceHogs in goals and is seventh in points.
  • Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman addressed the media before the start of the game to discuss today's moves and their impact on the team, for the remainder of this season and beyond. Read our recap here.
  • Vincent Lecavalier is offically "out indefinitely with a non-displaced fracture in his right hand."
  • In Lecavalier's absence, defenseman Eric Brewer has been appointed an assistant captain, joining Martin St. Louis and Stamkos.
  • The Lightning are now 17-2-6 in one goal games this season.
  • Stamkos scored his 300th, 301st and 302nd career points, passing Brian Bradley and moving into fifth place for points scored in franchise history.
  • The Lightning honored Captain Robert J. Silah, United States Navy, Retired, as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game. Silah, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will contribute the money to his charity of choice, Operation Helping Hand. A United States Navy veteran who served at U.S. Central Command, Silah founded Operation Helping Hand over seven years ago as a project of the Tampa Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Operation Helping Hand is a humanitarian effort dedicated to providing support for United States military active duty personnel who have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are currently being cared for in Tampa at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. Through the initiative, Silah and his colleagues have helped over 700 wounded soldiers and more than 1,000 of their family members.Being a former member of the armed forces himself has allowed Silah to relate to each individual in need with a more hands-on approach. Frequently, Silah will voluntarily visit those being comforted in the VA Hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Center, and enjoys providing care to countless mothers, fathers, wives and other loved ones of injured soldiers. He often organizes many of the monthly dinners at the Hospital to honor these heroes and their families, providing them each with flowers and gift baskets. He recently has just begun instituting welcome kits that are handed out to the wounded and their families upon their arrival at the Hospital. Through Silah’s assistance, patients and their families have been taken to Rays baseball games, and within the past year, to see a Lightning hockey game from one of the brand new luxury suites at the renovated Tampa Bay Times Forum, where they enjoyed meals and beverages and even received a special visit from 2004 Lightning Stanley Cup Champion Dave Andreychuk. Overall, Silah has helped so many exceptional war heroes in just a short time that it makes him an exceptional hero as well.
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