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game preview

Ducks at Lightning preview

Stamkos, Kucherov each seeking Tampa Bay record 12-game point streak to start season; Vatanen game-time decision for Anaheim

by Corey Long / Correspondent

DUCKS (4-4-1) at LIGHTNING (9-1-1)

7 p.m. ET, SUN, PRIME, NHL.TV 


The game

Forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each will attempt to extend his season-opening point streak to a Tampa Bay Lightning record 12 games when the Lightning host the Anaheim Ducks at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Stamkos, who has 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) this season, and Kucherov, who has 19 points (12 goals, seven assists), share the Lightning record of 11 games with Martin St. Louis, who had 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 2009-10. Stamkos and Kucherov are are the seventh pair of teammates to open an NHL season with an 11-game scoring streak and the first since 1992-93.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen will be a game-time decision. He has missed the first nine games of the season recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Lightning, off to the best 11-game start in their history, have won their past four games. 

Players to watch

Ducks center Antoine Vermette leads all Anaheim players with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) against Tampa Bay in 31 regular-season games.

Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has eight points (four goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. 

They said it

"We have to be able to push our game plan on other people and not be receiving the game. That should alleviate the pressure that's put on our goaltender. The No. 1 thing we want to start with is discipline. We can't be taking penalty after penalty. No team in the league can do that, specifically on the road, and have success." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

"We don't play [the Ducks] that often but they have been a powerhouse Western Conference team for a number of years. The thing that's different is we don't see the big, heavy teams a lot and that's what they are. It's a different challenge for us and they are getting healthier." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Antoine Vermette -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Derek Grant -- Ondrej Kase

Chris Wagner -- Kalle Kossila -- Logan Shaw

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour

Jaycob Megna -- Sami Vatanen

John Gibson  

Reto Berra

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Dennis Rasmussen, Jared Boll

Injured: Kevin Bieksa (hand), Ryan Miller (wrist), Ryan Kesler (hip surgery), Patrick Eaves (illness), Cam Fowler (knee)


Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Yanni Gourde

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson

Chris Kunitz - J.T. Brown -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Mikhail Sergachev -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi

Andrej Sustr

Peter Budaj

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Gabriel Dumont, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body)


Status report

Vatanen took regular line rushes during the morning skate. … Budaj will make his second start of the season. ... Koekkoek will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games.


Stat pack

The Lightning have won five straight home games against the Ducks. … Girardi will play in his 800th NHL game.

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