A rally in the third period gave them a point, but the Ducks' comeback fell short in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday. Brian Boyle's goal in the fourth round of the shootout dropped Anaheim's record on its season-long six-game, 14-day road trip to 0-1-1 (1 point). Overall, the Ducks are 28-16-10 (66 points).
Despite the shootout loss, it was a milestone evening for rookie defenseman Brandon Montour, who scored his first career NHL goal in the first period. Montour played last night for the San Diego Gulls in a road game against the Ontario Reign and scored the overtime winner. A few hours later he found himself on a red-eye flight to Tampa Bay by way of a connection in Detroit. Despite a lengthy night of travel, Montour looked energetic and confident, and finished the game with a goal, three shots on goal, three blocked shots and a +1 rating in 19:39 TOI.
Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-tying goal, his eighth of the season, in the third period (and also scored one of two goals for Anaheim in the shootout - also Jakob Silfverberg), and Jonathan Bernier turned aside 35-of-37 shots through regulation and overtime. Bernier's record dropped to 8-4-2 in 20 appearances this season.
Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn scored in regulation for Tampa Bay, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Ben Bishop improved his record to 12-12-3 with the victory. Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Boyle scored in the shootout for Tampa Bay (23-24-6, 52 points).
If you blinked, you might've missed the glorious scoring chances both teams had in the opening 27 seconds of the game. The first chance came from Lightning center Tyler Johnson, who corralled a turnover behind Anaheim's net and nearly potted one on a backhander had Bernier not been alert. On the ensuing rush, Bishop denied Getzlaf's point-blank shot on a 2-on-1 with Rickard Rakell. Less than a minute later, Bernier again had to make a big stop on Drouin who was left all alone in front of the net after Kevin Bieksa went out of his way to make a hit on the puck carrier Point.
The Ducks opened the scoring when Montour unloaded a howling slap shot that beat Bishop at the 8:19 mark of the opening period. Ryan Kesler's diligent forecheck on Braydon Coburn ultimately led to the veteran blueliner coughing it up inside the zone. From there, Silfverberg gained possession, set up shop behind the net and placed a backhanded pass onto a tee for Montour, who flew into the zone with speed. Montour's slap shot is one of his strongest assets, and it was on full display in his sixth career NHL game.
Video: ANA@TBL: Montour buries one-timer for first NHL goal
"You can tell he has a lot of skill," said Bernier. "He's a great skater and he's patient with the puck. He's got a great shot."
The lead was short-lived, as Drouin potted goal No. 15 with a wrist shot that snuck between the arm and body of Bernier just 1:34 after Montour's goal. The 21-year-old right wing is arguably Tampa Bay's most electrifying player, and his speed was evident as he created separation in the high slot with a strong curl move that gave him enough free space to get off an uncontested wrist shot.
On the following shift, Joseph Cramarossa and J.T. Brown dropped the gloves in a spirited scrap that featured both players landing several big rights. The fight appeared to be brewing, however, as the two players jawed at one another in the opening minutes of the period.
The score remained the same until the Lightning converted on a power play at the 10:54 mark of the second period. Killorn placed a perfect one-timer into the top corner for his 16th goal of the season, snapping Anaheim's streak of 21 successful penalty kills spanning six games. Second-period woes continued to plague the Ducks, who had yet to record a shot in the middle frame at the time of Killorn's goal.
Anaheim's best chance in the second period came with under two minutes to play when Getzlaf forced a turnover in the corner and walked in on Bishop who was forced to make a key stop as he hugged the short-side post.
The Ducks evened the score at the 4:02 mark of the third period when Getzlaf wired a wrist shot that found the top corner over Bishop's right shoulder. The play started when Bieksa caught Getzlaf in stride with a clean breakout pass from behind his own net. From there, Getzlaf used his big frame to lug the puck into the zone before tallying his 11th point (4g/7a) in his last 13 games. Bieksa's helper also gave him 200 career NHL assists.
Video: ANA@TBL: Getzlaf beats Bishop with quick wrister
The game went to overtime where both clubs exchanged quality chances, none closer than Kesler's wrist shot that clanged off the left post in the opening minutes. Bernier rose to the challenge as well, stopping a breakaway attempt on Kucherov and batting the rebound out of harm's way. "I knew Getzy was behind him, but he got a shot off," said Bernier. "I tried to keep my eyes on it and got a blocker on the rebound."
The Lightning took the shootout in the fourth round with Boyle's goal holding up as the winner. Corey Perry had a chance to extend the shootout, but the snake-bitten winger's shot caromed off the cross bar.
The Ducks' six-game road trip takes them to New York where they'll battle the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.