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game recap

Vasilevskiy gets 150th NHL win, Lightning defeat Ducks

Makes 23 saves; Kucherov, Cirelli each has goal, assist for Tampa Bay

by Dan Arritt / Independent Correspondent

Kucherov buries tough backhand

TBL@ANA: Kucherov slices defense, nets backhand

Nikita Kucherov breaks through the defense, then buries a tough backhanded shot, pushing the Lightning lead to 4-2 in the 3rd period

  • 00:37 •

ANAHEIM -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves for his 150th NHL win for the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday.

"We've had some special players here but he's right at the top," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (31-15-5), who have won 10 straight against Pacific Division teams.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Ducks highlights]


Michael Del Zotto and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist, and John Gibson made 18 saves for the Ducks (20-26-5), who had won three of four.

"It feels like we're playing really well from time to time, or most times in the game, and then something happens and it's in the back of the net," Rakell said. "We still have things to work on."

Cirelli gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 18:58 of the second period.

Video: TBL@ANA: Cirelli deflects Rutta's shot for goal

Tampa Bay defenseman Jan Rutta took a shot from the right point and the puck hit Cirelli in the shin as he stood at the top of the crease and was redirected into the net.

"The big one was getting that late goal in the second for us," Cooper said. "Much better coming into the third period with a lead."

Kucherov made it 4-2 at 10:56 of the third period. Ducks defenseman Josh Manson tried to bump Kucherov off the puck as he received a stretch pass down the middle, but Kucherov kept his balance and sent a backhand high in the net for his 23rd goal of the season.

"Manson is hunting him down," Cooper said. "You've got to be fearless to go through the middle like he did. He bounced of it [the check by Manson] and then you watch him, he takes that backhand. Every day he is practicing that."

Troy Terry scored with 13 seconds left and Gibson pulled for an extra skater to make it 4-3.

"Right now, it's hard to take," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "You're right there in the game and we have a couple of missed plays and they end up in our net."

Video: TBL@ANA: Terry redirects Rakell's pass for late goal

Ondrej Palat gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the first period on the first shot of the game. Cirelli won the puck against Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm behind the Anaheim net and fed Palat out front.

"The way he forechecked that first goal, just to have the wherewithal to not only get the puck [but] spin off and put it right on Palat's stick," Cooper said of Cirelli's play. "He had a really good game tonight."

Video: TBL@ANA: Palat nets one-touch shot off Cirelli's pass

Rakell tied it 1-1 at 8:42. After whiffing on his first shot attempt from above the right circle, he got the puck back, spun and scored from the high slot.

Erik Cernak made it 2-1 at 14:43. Brayden Point had the puck in the high slot and passed to Cernak, who shot short side near the right post.

Del Zotto stole a clearing pass in the Tampa Bay zone and scored from the high slot to make it 2-2 at 18:29.


They said it

"A little bit of back and forth game there. You know, we had our swings in momentum where we were pressuring a lot. They had their chances too coming down on us. It was a battle until the end there." -- Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli 

"I feel like we've had a lot of these, where we've played a really good game and a few things cost us. I thought, overall, we played a hard game, worked hard, did all the right things. Just a couple breakdowns cost us." -- Ducks forward Troy Terry


Need to know

Vasilevskiy is 13-0-2 in his past 15 games for the second-longest point streak by a goalie in Lightning history, one back of Nikolai Khabibulin, who went 12-0-0 with four ties from Feb. 15-April 2, 2003. Vasilevskiy is 9-0-2 in his past 11 road starts for the longest road point streak in Lightning history. He is 150-68-18 in 246 games and is the fourth goalie in NHL history to get 150 wins prior to 250 games played. Ken Dryden (241), Andy Moog (245) and Braden Holtby (246) also did it. ... Kucherov has five straight multipoint games and has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in a six-game point streak. ... Lightning forward Steven Stamkos had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (five goals, five assists). ... Cirelli has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past six games. ... Tampa Bay is 6-0-4 in its past 10 games in Anaheim. … Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf had two assists to give him 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in the past 11 games. ... Gibson wore a specially made goalie mask honoring former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the other seven people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday. ... The Ducks were trying to win two straight in regulation for the first time since Oct. 16-18.


What's next

Lightning: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, SUN, NHL.TV)

Ducks: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Video: Kucherov, Cirelli lead Lightning past Ducks, 4-3

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