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Preview: Ducks Close Out Road Trip Tonight Against Lightning

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (10-10-3, 23 points) close out a four-game road trip this evening against the Tampa Bay Lightning (10-7-2, 22 points) at Amalie Arena. (4 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). With points in four of their five games against the Atlantic Division this season (2-1-2, six points), the Ducks will try to finish their trip on a high note after letting Thursday's game slip away with a 5-4 overtime loss in Florida.

It remains to be seen if Hampus Lindholm returns to the lineup tonight after missing the past six games with a lower-body injury, but the good news is the 25-year-old defenseman is with the team and practiced yesterday. Lindholm paces the Ducks in average TOI/GP with 21:49, leads team d-men in assists (9) and ranks second in points (9). If he doesn't play today, Anaheim's upcoming schedule includes games Monday vs. the New York Islanders, Wednesday at Arizona and Friday afternoon at home vs. Winnipeg.

Jakob Silfverberg enters tonight's game leading the Ducks in points (18) and goals (8), and co-leads in assists (8). He has six points (2g/4a) in his last seven games, along with nine points (3g/6a) in his last 10. Ryan Getzlaf is riding a three-game point streak (1g/3a) and has 11 points (5g/6a) in his last 12 games. Additionally, Rickard Rakell is on a season-tying four-game point streak (2g/3a) and has 15 points (6g/9a) in his last 19 contests.

Ryan Miller will make his sixth start of the season tonight. The 39-year-old netminder has yet to lose in regulation in his five starts, posting a 3-0-2 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. In 33 career games vs. Tampa Bay, Miller has gone 23-10-0 with a 2.55 GAA and .913 SV%.

The Ducks are facing a Lightning team that won't feature captain Steven Stamkos, who is out with a lower-body ailment - an injury he sustained in Thursday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Stamkos leads the team with 20 points (7g/13a) in 19 games, including a club-best nine points on the power play. Nikita Kucherov returns to the lineup tonight after missing Thursday's game with an upper-body injury. The 26-year-old right wing has 18 points (6g/12a) this season. A three-time NHL All-Star, Kucherov registered a league-leading 128 points last season and won the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. Andrei Vasilevskiy (7-6-0, 2.95 GAA, .904 SV%) will get the start in goal. The 25-year-old netminder is unbeaten in two career appearances vs. Anaheim (2-0, 1.00 GAA, .969 SV%).

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