|ANA||0||2||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|TBL||2||1||0||(0 - 0)||3|
The Anaheim Ducks still have ground to make up in the Western Conference playoff race, but they're heading in the right direction.
So are the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East.
Anaheim goes for its first 10-game point streak since 2007 on Tuesday night against the host Lightning, who are aiming for a third straight victory.
Since falling to 10-22-6 on Jan. 4, Anaheim (25-24-10) has earned points in 19 of 21 games to move within five points of the eighth seed in the West, currently shared by Calgary and Los Angeles at 65 points.
"It's nice to get to the 60-point plateau because then you can at least see the guys in the distance," coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Ducks improved to 4-0-2 on their season-high eight-game trip with Sunday's 2-0 victory over Florida. "We always believed that we're there. We don't really care what anybody else thinks about it. As long as we believe we're there, we're OK."
Corey Perry has team highs of seven goals and nine points during Anaheim's 6-0-3 run, while Teemu Selanne has scored four times with two assists since the club's last regulation loss - a 6-2 home defeat to Dallas on Feb. 1.
Selanne will try to extend his goal-scoring streak versus Tampa Bay to four games after netting his 20th of the season Sunday to surpass Brendan Shanahan for 12th in league history with 657. The 41-year-old Finn also became the oldest player to score 20 since Boston's Johnny Bucyk did it in 1976-77.
"That's almost overwhelming to hear your name in the same group as those guys," Selanne said. "It's unbelievable."
That's also an apt description of Anaheim's turnaround on the road. The Ducks are 8-1-3 outside Anaheim since losing a franchise-record 13 straight away from home.
They won 2-1 in a shootout in their last visit to Tampa Bay on Jan. 29, 2010.
The Lightning (26-26-6), meanwhile, are looking to build even more momentum as they close a four-game homestand.
Tampa Bay is 9-3-2 since a season-high seven-game skid last month. While the recent stretch has brought the Lightning within a handful of points of the final playoff spot in the East, coach Guy Boucher wants the focus to be solely on the next opponent.
"We talk about having a rock-climber's mentality, so that's what we're doing," Boucher told the Lightning's official website following Monday's practice. "We're focused on the rocks in front of us and we're plugging at them."
That also means moving past the recent deals that sent center Dominic Moore to San Jose and defenseman Pavel Kubina to Philadelphia.
The Lightning could be without captain Vincent Lacavalier in this contest after he reaggravated an upper-body injury from Saturday's 2-1 win over Washington during Monday's practice.
Still, the Ducks will have to deal with Steven Stamkos, who notched his league-best 40th goal Saturday. He is the first player in Tampa Bay franchise history to reach that total in three consecutive seasons.
"It shows consistency and desire, and he's got that," right wing Martin St. Louis said of Stamkos, who is one point shy of 300 for his career.
Mathieu Garon, 7-2-2 with a 2.43 goals-against average in his last 11 outings, will get the start for Tampa Bay. He is 5-1-0 with a 1.63 GAA in his last six starts versus Anaheim.
Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller, the NHL's reigning first star of the week, should be in net after making 31 saves Sunday for his third shutout.
Hiller has a 1.91 GAA while starting each game of Anaheim's three-game winning streak over Tampa Bay.
The Ducks have won six of seven in this series.
|Feb 21 '12||ANA 2 at TBL 3||T. Purcell|
|M. St. Louis||54||18||34||52||+2||14||2||2|