Lightning score 4 in 2nd period; Ducks lose 6th straight
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nick Paul scored the first of four Tampa Bay goals in a span of 5:55 in the second period, and Brayden Point scored his 200th NHL goal as the Lightning dealt the Anaheim Ducks their sixth straight loss, 6-1 on Tuesday night.
Ross Colton, Anthony Cirelli and Zach Bogosian also scored during the second-period outburst for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 24 saves. Tampa Bay, the only team in the NHL averaging more than four goals per game at home, is 14-0-1 in its last 15 games at Amalie Arena.
“We dug in a little bit, played with a little more snarl in front of the net,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of his team’s improved play in the second period. “It was more blue-collar hockey.”
Anaheim’s Ryan Strome spoiled Vasilevskiy’s shutout bid, scoring 6:28 into the third period. Lukas Dostal made 38 saves for the Ducks, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games and have been outscored 36-15.
“I think we played as a team, and unfortunately the way our team is this year we have to almost play a perfect game to beat a team like this,” Strome said. “When they turned it up a notch, we had a tendency to split up rather than come together. Obviously, they’re a great team and there are a lot of lessons we can learn from that.”
Point and Corey Perry scored in the third period, and rookie defenseman Nick Perbix had three assists for Tampa Bay, which took the first 21 shots on goal in the second period before Vasilevskiy robbed Trevor Zegras with 1:09 remaining.
Paul snapped his 11-game scoring drought when he beat Dostal with a snap shot from the right circle at 7:15 of the middle period, giving the Lightning a 1-0 lead with his career-high 17th goal of the season.
A little advice from Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito might have helped.
“I was sitting on 16 for a little bit, clutching my stick a little bit,” Paul said. “I saw Phil at dinner the other day and he told me to shoot the puck more, and it ended up working.”
Colton made it 2-0 at 9:48, scoring past Dostal with a shot from the right circle on a power play. Cirelli was left alone in front and slid a quick backhand shot past Dostal at 10:51. Bogosian scored his first of the season with a straightaway slap shot from just inside the blue line at 13:10.
Point reached the 200-goal milestone when he scored a power-play goal at 1:06 of the third period.
"It’s something you never grow up thinking you’re going to do,” he said. “To do it is pretty cool. I’m getting the puck in good places.”
Perry, who scored 372 goals during 14 seasons with Anaheim, made it 6-0 at 2:23, before Strome got the Ducks on the board.
Anaheim went 0-1-1 on a two-day swing through Florida and is last in the NHL standings at 17-34-7.
“We’re a rebuilding team,” coach Dallas Eakins said. “We played last night and we were starting to run out of gas after a really strong first period and we’ve got to play a perfect game to be in with teams like this right now. We weren’t able to sustain the game.”
Vasilevskiy improved to 12-0-0 in his last 12 games at Amalie Arena. He is 5-1-0 lifetime against Anaheim. … Kucherov’s assist on Point’s extended his points streak at home to 18 games.
The Ducks, who entered the game allowing an NHL-high 39.5 shots against per game, saw Dostal face 44 shots one day after John Gibson faced 55 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers.
Ducks: Play the third of a four-game trip at Washington on Thursday.
Lightning: Host Buffalo on Thursday.
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John Kreiser, The Associated Press