What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday, the Lightning found themselves down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. And while they mounted a spirited comeback effort, it was just too much to overcome. Today, the Lightning decided that the Kings had a pretty good formula so they borrowed from it.
"Playing a big, heavy team last night, being down the way we were early, we had to spend a lot of energy to try and come back in the second and third periods, and to turn it around twenty-four hours later against a team that was waiting for us...that's a big effort by the boys." - Lightning head coach Jon Cooper
Brian Boyle put the Lightning on the board first at 2:55, a goal made possible by a nifty move by Victor Hedman. He stopped at the top of the right circle, pivoted and accelerated with the puck to split two Anaheim defenders, charge the net and then pass to Boyle from behind it. Brett Connolly was credited with the second assist.
The Lightning's befuddlingly inept power play went 0-for-5 on the night and during a 5 on 3 PP, two consecutive shots yielded two broken sticks, the first belonging to Nikita Kucherov, the second to Steven Stamkos.
At 13:42, Valtteri Filppula doubled the lead, cashing in a rebound from a Stamkos shot, who had been fed by Ryan Callahan.
It was Kucherov's turn at 18:52, with assists by Tyler Johnson and Filppula, ending the period with the Lightning up 3-0.
Anaheim broke through at 4:49 of the second on a goal by Ryan Getzlaf that was reviewed, mistakenly announced as no goal, immediately corrected and upheld. Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey picked up the assists.
The Lightning pushed the lead back to three at 14:27 when Brian Boyle crashed a massive scrum in front of the Ducks goal and push the puck over the goal line. Connolly and Ondrej Palat picked up helpers.
The Lightning were up 4-1 after two.
At 6:14 of the third, Callahan and Stamkos broke out on a two-on-one with Callahan cashing in with the goal. Filppula was credited with the second assist.
Anaheim was forced to put Ilya Bryzgalov in goal when starter Frederik Anderson suffered a bizarre injury when the net fell on him, with the crossbar hitting him in the back of the head. Anderson had allowed five goals on 22 shots. Bryzgalov stopped the one shot he faced in relief.
Anaheim scored again at 14:57 on a power play goal from Sami Vatanen with assists by Getzlaf and Bryzgalov.
They drew closer at 17:26 when Eric Brewer scored, getting help from Nate Thompson and Andrew Cogliano.
The Ducks emptied their net for the extra skater with 2:03 remaining but that was it.
Ben Bishop, back in net for the Lightning after being pulled following the opening period last night, stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced.
"I really wanted to play this game. Any time you get pulled like that, you want to bounce back. And against the best team in the (Western Conference), there's not a better team to do it against."- Bishop
- This was the first meeting this season between Anaheim and Tampa Bay and will meet again on February 18.
- The Lightning are 3-0-1 vs Anaheim in their last four meetings at Amalie Arena.
- The Lightning are now 4-5-1 in second halves of back-to-backs.
- The Lightning now lead the NHL in home wins with 22.
- Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman have three-game points-scored streaks.
- Anton Stralman and Nikita Nesterov led all skaters with +3 ratings.
- Former Lightning players Nate Thompson and Eric Brewer made their first return to Amalie Arena since leaving in separate trades. Thompson had an assist and a hooking penalty and was even on the night. Brewer scored his first goal of the season and was a -2.
- Luke Witkowski had his first NHL fight, squaring off in the first period against Patrick Maroon, who patted Witkoski's helmet affectionately when the skirmish ended.
- The Lightning honored Vicki Anzalone as the 28th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game. Anzalone, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Where Love Grows, Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs.The thought of a child experiencing hunger because of a lack of access to food is what drives tonight's Lightning Community Hero to intervene and make a difference in the Tampa Bay community. To combat this issue, Anzalone founded Where Love Grows, a 501 (c) 3 mission dedicated to feeding hungry children home cooked meals. Since its inception in 2010, Where Love Grows has fed over 3,300 meals.Anzalone's approach has been to not only feed children, but to also teach them how to feed themselves through her cook training program. She does this with the hope to enable children to cook in their own homes, creating an alleviating solution.