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Preview: Ducks Take on League-Leading Lightning Tonight

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

A four-game road trip reaches its penultimate stage as tonight the Ducks (4-4-1, 9 points) take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-1-1, 19 points) at Amalie Arena. Game time is set for 4 p.m. PT and will be televised on Prime Ticket and broadcast on AM 830.

This is also the opener of Anaheim's first set of back-to-backs this season. (The Ducks conclude their road trip tomorrow afternoon at Carolina). Anaheim went 11-8-9 in back-to-backs last season, including a 6-3-5 mark in the first game and a 5-5-4 record on the back end.

After posting consecutive 6-2 victories over the Montreal Canadiens (October 20) and Philadelphia Flyers (October 24), the Ducks found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-3 score two nights ago against the Florida Panthers. Among the scorers for Anaheim was rookie forward Kalle Kossila, who recorded his first career NHL goal in the first period. Kossila enters tonight's game riding a two-game point streak (1g/1a). Jakob Silfverberg (3 points, all assists) and Derek Grant (4 points, 2g/2a) have three-game point streaks, which marks a career high for Grant and ties a career-best for Silfverberg in assists.

The Ducks will certainly have their work cut out for them tonight. Tampa Bay sits atop the NHL standings with 19 points and has established a new franchise record for consecutive home victories to start a season (six) after a 3-2 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. The Lightning's current six-game home winning streak is the longest since a franchise-best nine in a row at Amalie Arena from Jan. 2-Feb. 12, 2016. Tampa Bay is also off to its best start in franchise history (19 points through 11 games), surpassing the previous mark of 18 points through 11 games during the 2003-04 season.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos enters the game riding a season-opening 11-game point streak, matching a franchise record. The 27-year-old center leads the NHL in points (21, 4g/17a), assists and power-play points (9, 3g/6a). Stamkos' linemate Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL in goals (12), ranks second in power-play points (8, 3g/5a) and also has points in 11 straight games (19, 12g/7a).

This marks the opener of a two-game season series between the Ducks and Lightning, which concludes 15 days from now on Sunday, November 12 at Honda Center. The Ducks enter tonight's game with a 16-14-2 all-time record against the Lightning, including a 7-8-1 mark on the road, but have not won in regulation at Amalie Arena since a 4-3 victory on Dec. 9, 2006.

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