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Niedermayer's OT goal lifts Ducks over Lightning

by John Kreiser /

Anaheim saw a three-goal lead turn into an overtime nail-biter. Scott Niedermayer made sure it didn't become a loss.

Niedermayer scored a power-play goal 52 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opener of a seven-game homestand. Anaheim couldn't hold a three-goal lead, but went home with two points when Niedermayer scored his 13th OT goal, a record for defensemen, by taking a drop pass from Ryan Getzlaf and blasting a slap shot past Mike Smith.

"After we lost that lead, we had to restart," said Niedermayer, who made the Lightning's Ryan Malone pay for a needless cross-checking penalty, "but that's the way it goes. Getzy made a great play to get it to me in the slot and (Corey) Perry made a great screen to help that shot get through."

Perry's first of two assists increased his points streak to 13 games, the longest in the NHL this season.

It looked like the Ducks would have an easy time when Teemu Selanne and Getzlaf scored in the first period and Bobby Ryan made it 3-0 at 6:52 of the second, flipping home a power-play goal to finish a 2-on-1 break.

Perry assisted on both of the first-period goals to increase his points streak to 13 games, the longest in the NHL this season.

But Tampa Bay quickly got back in the game with two goals in 18 seconds.

Jeff Halpern fired Steve Downie's pass behind Jonas Hiller at 7:23, and Steve Stamkos swatted an airborne rebound into the net while tumbling to the ice at 7:41.

It was the 14th goal for Stamkos, who had 23 all last season -- his first after being the No. 1 pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.

"Confidence is a big key," Stamkos said when asked to compare last season to this one. "Obviously, the second half (of last season) went well, and I've been learning a lot from the veteran guys on our team. Confidence is definitely as high as it's been coming into this season."

Martin St. Louis tied it 1:38 into the third period with a long power-play slap shot through traffic that went off the post and into the net.

The blown lead made for an uneasy third period for the Ducks and the Honda Center crowd.

"We weren't feeling very proud after giving up a three-goal lead in our building, yet we found a way to get the last one to get the two points," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "The positives were we had lots of energy at the beginning of the game. We skated and created a lot more in this game from the outset. That is the most encouraging sign and the building point that we want to take forward."

Added Ryan: "We showed some resiliency. In the past, we would have let those three goals really go to our heart and that would have been a time of self destruction for us. But as a group, we pulled tonight and grinded out the two points."

The Lightning didn't go home with two points, but getting one when you're down three goals isn't the worst way to leave an opponent's building.

"Down 3-0 on the road and you get a point; that's pretty good," St. Louis said.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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