Anaheim saw a three-goal lead turn into an overtime nail-biter. Scott Niedermayer made sure it didn't become a loss.
Niedermayer scored a power-play goal 52 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opener of a seven-game homestand. Anaheim couldn't hold a three-goal lead, but went home with two points when Niedermayer scored his 13th OT goal, a record for defensemen, by taking a drop pass from Ryan Getzlaf and blasting a slap shot past Mike Smith.
"After we lost that lead, we had to restart," said Niedermayer, who made the Lightning's Ryan Malone pay for a needless cross-checking penalty, "but that's the way it goes. Getzy made a great play to get it to me in the slot and (Corey) Perry made a great screen to help that shot get through."
Perry's first of two assists increased his points streak to 13 games, the longest in the NHL this season.
It looked like the Ducks would have an easy time when Teemu Selanne and Getzlaf scored in the first period and Bobby Ryan made it 3-0 at 6:52 of the second, flipping home a power-play goal to finish a 2-on-1 break.
Perry assisted on both of the first-period goals to increase his points streak to 13 games, the longest in the NHL this season.
But Tampa Bay quickly got back in the game with two goals in 18 seconds.
It was the 14th goal for Stamkos, who had 23 all last season -- his first after being the No. 1 pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.
"Confidence is a big key," Stamkos said when asked to compare last season to this one. "Obviously, the second half (of last season) went well, and I've been learning a lot from the veteran guys on our team. Confidence is definitely as high as it's been coming into this season."Martin St. Louis tied it 1:38 into the third period with a long power-play slap shot through traffic that went off the post and into the net.
The blown lead made for an uneasy third period for the Ducks and the Honda Center crowd.
"We weren't feeling very proud after giving up a three-goal lead in our building, yet we found a way to get the last one to get the two points," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "The positives were we had lots of energy at the beginning of the game. We skated and created a lot more in this game from the outset. That is the most encouraging sign and the building point that we want to take forward."
Added Ryan: "We showed some resiliency. In the past, we would have let those three goals really go to our heart and that would have been a time of self destruction for us. But as a group, we pulled tonight and grinded out the two points."
The Lightning didn't go home with two points, but getting one when you're down three goals isn't the worst way to leave an opponent's building.
"Down 3-0 on the road and you get a point; that's pretty good," St. Louis said.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Teemu Selanne (11) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (21), Corey Perry (12)|
1 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Ryan Getzlaf (3) ASST: Teemu Selanne (3), Corey Perry (13)|
2 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Bobby Ryan (9) ASST: Joffrey Lupul (4), Nick Boynton (5)|
3 - 0 ANA
|Jeff Halpern (2) ASST: Steve Downie (4), Victor Hedman (5)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Steven Stamkos (14) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (14), Ryan Malone (8)|
3 - 2 ANA
|PPG - Ryan Malone (13) ASST: Martin St. Louis (16), Steve Downie (5)|
3 - 3 Tie
|PPG - Scott Niedermayer (2) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (22), Teemu Selanne (4)|
4 - 3 ANA
|Nick Boynton Tripping against Alex Tanguay|
|Mike Smith Interference against Corey Perry|
|Lukas Krajicek Interference against Mike Brown|
|Zenon Konopka Fighting (maj) against Mike Brown|
|Mike Brown Fighting (maj) against Zenon Konopka|
|David Hale Hi stick - double minor against Bobby Ryan|
|Andrej Meszaros Hi-sticking against Bobby Ryan|
|Kurtis Foster Tripping against Bobby Ryan|
|Todd Marchant Tripping against Jeff Halpern|
|Evgeny Artyukhin Tripping against Victor Hedman|
|Corey Perry Tripping against Steven Stamkos|
|Ryan Malone Cross checking against Ryan Whitney|