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Lightning, Ducks look to get back to winning ways

by John Kreiser

LIGHTNING (14-8-0) at DUCKS (15-6-3)


Last 10: Tampa Bay 6-4-0; Anaheim 5-3-2

Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks meet for the second time in eight days. The Lightning won 5-1 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Nov. 14, and are making their first trip to Honda Center since Nov. 3, 2010, a 3-2 overtime win by the Ducks.

Big story: The Lightning are playing the finale of a four-game swing through Arizona and California that's been a disaster. Tampa Bay is 0-3-0 and has been outscored 16-6 after a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. The Ducks are in a funk of their own; they are 0-3-2 in their past five after a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

Team Scope:

Lightning: Tampa Bay headed west a week ago in first place in the Atlantic Division after pummeling the Ducks for their seventh win in as many games against the Western Conference. That record is now 7-3-0 after three-goal losses to the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings before the four-goal loss to the Sharks.

Tampa Bay has struggled offensively without injured sniper Steven Stamkos, who's out with a broken right tibia. But it's the defense that has coach Jon Cooper worried.

"People are going to look at the fact that we haven't scored too many goals," Cooper said. "My concern is we've given up 15 goals with the goalie in the net in three games. If you're going to give up five a game, the chances of you winning are not good, and that's been our problem."

Ducks: Anaheim still hasn't lost in regulation at home, but coach Bruce Boudreau was still more concerned about the point the Ducks didn't get in their overtime loss to the Devils. New Jersey tied the game with 61 seconds left in regulation and won it when Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy tried to clear the puck out of the crease but shot it off teammate Corey Perry and past goalie Jonas Hiller.

"I guess we got a point," he said after practice Thursday. "It certainly feels like a complete loss because of the way it was lost, but at the same time, we got a point. For being in the position that we were in, I thought we battled and, for the most part, played a good game."

The Ducks added some muscle up front Thursday by trading a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft to the Calgary Flames for forward Tim Jackman.

Who's hot: Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has five points in his past four games. … His Anaheim counterpart, Ryan Getzlaf, has goals in back-to-back games and has six goals and three assists during a five-game points streak.

Injury report: Stamkos will be gone for at least three months. The Lightning have also been without defensemen Keith Aulie (upper body) and Brian Lee (knee), as well as forward Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone). … Boudreau said defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who left the game against the Devils with an upper-body injury, is day-to-day. Anaheim is also missing center Saku Koivu (head) and forward Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand). Defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) has not played this season.

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