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Bobby Ryan has provided almost as much offensive production in his last three games than he has all season.
Anaheim hopes the rookie continues his torrid pace to help the Ducks bounce back from their most recent loss against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.
The 21-year-old Ryan recorded the first hat trick by an Anaheim rookie in the Ducks' 4-3 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday to split a home-and-home series between the southern California rivals.
Ryan, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, scored all three goals during a 2:21 span over the second and third periods. His two quick goals to open the third tied the game before the Kings' Alexander Frolov tallied the winner.
"I don't think you ever expect to go out and do that," Ryan said. "It's tough to succeed and have a good night when everybody else on the team isn't going as well as they would have liked to."
Called up from the minors in mid-November, Ryan has come on of late, scoring five of his 11 goals in the last three contests. He's recorded 15 of his 25 points on the season in his last 10 games.
The Ducks (21-16-5) hope Ryan's productive run continues as they try for a fourth consecutive victory over Tampa Bay in the teams' first meeting since Anaheim's 4-3 road win over the Lightning on Dec. 9, 2006.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 24 saves in that contest and is 4-1-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average versus Tampa Bay. Despite that impressive record, the starting goaltender for the Western Conference in this month's All-Star game could be on the bench after being pulled for allowing two goals on 10 shots against the Kings.
Jonas Hiller made 14 saves in relief, but fell to 10-7-1 with a 2.10 GAA. He has never faced the Lightning.
Playing in Anaheim for the first time since losing 4-2 to the Ducks on Dec. 14, 2005, Tampa Bay (11-19-10) looks to bounce back from a 3-2 loss at Phoenix on Thursday.
Jeff Halpern had a goal and an assist, and Andrej Meszaros scored his first for the Lightning, who have lost four of their last five contests while dropping to 1-1 on a five-game road swing.
"I'm really disappointed in the team right now," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "It's unacceptable. ... That's terrible. It's the most disappointed I've been as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning after seeing that effort."
Tocchet was even more disappointed after giving his team three days off following a 4-1 win at Atlanta on Sunday to start the trip.
"If guys can't be men you have to treat them like kids," Tocchet said. "We're gonna have to start tying the knot to them even more. Maybe I'm the idiot for giving a little too much rope but it's going to be reeled in now."
Halpern is coming off his first multi-point effort in his 10th game since missing 30 with a knee injury, while All-Star Vincent Lecavalier was held without a point Thursday after recording seven in his last five games.
Lecavalier has three assists in his last two games versus Anaheim.
Mike Smith made 24 saves against the Coyotes. Smith, 9-15-9 with a 2.55 GAA on the season, has dominated the Ducks during his brief three-year career, posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.60 GAA while with Dallas.
Tampa Bay won 3-2 over the Ducks on Oct. 14, 2001 for its last victory at Anaheim.
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