|TBL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
ANAHEIM – It was déjà vu all over again for the Anaheim Ducks.
For the second time in the last 24 hours, the Ducks came back with quick goals to tie the game 3-3, only to see the opposition retake the lead with in the third period and hold off Anaheim.
Last night it was the struggling Los Angeles Kings, and tonight it was the Tampa Bay Lightning, owners of the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"Tonight, we definitely didn’t play our best game," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. "Every chance they had they seemed to put in the back of the net on us. I guess that is the way it goes if you don’t play your best sometimes. You pay the price for it that way."
|Pronger tied the game with the second Ducks goal in a 12-second span, but that was the last time the Ducks struck in the game.
The Ducks erased a 3-1 lead in the second period with two goals in a span of 12 seconds. But Tampa Bay went back in front midway through the third when Ryan Malone picked up ta rebound and lifted the puck into the top left corner of the net.
The Ducks still had 8:10 left to tie it, but couldn’t find the net, even when they sent starter Jonas Hiller to the bench for an extra attacker in the final minute and a half.
"Two steps forward, one step back or one step forward and two steps back in this case," said Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger. "Again, it is consistency and coming with that same energy and excitement for three periods every game. Tonight, we were pretty flat in the first and it took us awhile to get going until midway through the second."
Anaheim had no less than six players in the lineup who started the season at their AHL affiliate in Iowa. The latest was emergency call-up Matt Beleskey, who arrived at Honda Center about 15 minutes before puck drop. He was summoned when Todd Marchant was declared day-to-day with an upper body injury. When it was determined just before the game that Marchant couldn’t play, Beleskey was thrust into the lineup.
"We’ve got a lot of injuries and a lot of things not going our way right now," Pronger said. "How we deal with it and how we handle it this adversity is going to make us better as a team and better as a group. We have to try to stay as positive as possible and take the good things we did. Some of us, including myself, need to pick up the play a little bit, especially defensively."
The Lightning took a two-goal lead late in the middle session, with a Malone power play goal just a few seconds after a Pronger cross-checking minor. Malone bullied his way toward the net, where he slipped the puck under Hiller just before running him over.
That could have easily dampened the spirits of the Ducks, but instead they came back quickly with a double-strike in that 12-second window to tie it in the final two minutes of the period. First was Steve Montador, who threw a seemingly innocent wrist shot on net that hit Ramo’s glove and flipped behind him.
Just after the ensuing faceoff, Pronger made up for his earlier penalty by pouncing on a puck in the slot and ripping a one-timer that darted under the crossbar. Ryan Getzlaf was trying to feed Beleskey from the corner, but Beleskey whiffed on the shot, and it headed behind him toward the middle of the ice. Pronger slapped it through before celebrating with a patented uppercut.
|Emergency call-up Beleskey was one of six Ducks in the lineup who started the season in Iowa.
Tampa had taken the game’s first lead at 3:28 in the first with the Ducks on the power play, as Martin St. Louis connected on a shorthander. The 5-9 St. Louis headed up the middle of the ice with just the 6-6 Pronger in front of him, and he darted around the big defenseman before wristing it top shelf.
The Lightning made it 2-0 just 1:41 into the second, as Vincent Lecavalier slid a pass to Vaclav Prospal near the far post, and Prospal punched it into the open net.
"They started well and came at us pretty hard," Niedermayer said. "We didn’t respond real well to that. Eventually, we did get going, but didn’t find a way to win the game."
Anaheim cut that lead in half on Andrew Ebbett’s second career goal, that came after Brendan Morrison’s rebound shot trickled behind Ramo. Just as it was inching toward the stripe, Ebbett reached out and helped it the rest of the way.
The Ducks roll on with their extended stay in Southern California with another home date, Sunday evening against the New Jersey Devils.GAME LOG
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And it's a brutal one for the Ducks, as they get little energy going and give up a shortie to the shortie, as St. Louis puts them on the board.
19:45 - Pronger doing a little half-hearted pushing and shoving with Adam Hall. Stupid name.
19:10 - The Ducks have sent the puck into the Tampa bench at least three times tonight. It's just about the only thing they're doing well in this period.
18:50 - Beleskey, wearing No. 64, skating with Ryan and Getzlaf.
14:28 - TBL Penalty - Paul Ranger, 2 min. tripping. You can park Ranger on the bench in the penalty box. Zing.
It's trivia time and Rick from Newport Beach is asked which team entered the league the same year as the Lightning. He guesses Ottawa and he's right! And to top it off, as he's getting applause, he turns around to reveal he's wearing a Brad May jersey. Very cool.
13:50 - Karri Ramo handles the puck behind the net like someone trying to pick up a live fish off the ground. Let's hope that pays off for Anaheim.
11:10 - Bobby Ryan weaves his way into the zone and gets shoved in the face, sprawling to the ice. No call.
By the way, it should be noted that callup Matt Beleskey arrived at Honda Center literally minutes before this thing got started, at 6:45.
7:33 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. hooking.
Lightning goalie Karri Ramo belongs on the list of pro athletes whose names make them sound like hot girls, along with guys like Lindsey Hunter, Ashley Lelie, Brook and Robin Lopez, Tracy McGrady and Tatum Bell .
|SHG - Martin St. Louis (16) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (19)|
1 - 0 TBL
|Vinny Prospal (9) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (20), Evgeny Artyukhin (5)|
2 - 0 TBL
|PPG - Andrew Ebbett (2) ASST: Brendan Morrison (7), Bret Hedican (5)|
2 - 1 TBL
|PPG - Ryan Malone (11) ASST: Martin St. Louis (23), Andrej Meszaros (11)|
3 - 1 TBL
|Steve Montador (3) ASST: Brendan Morrison (8), Andrew Ebbett (4)|
3 - 2 TBL
|Chris Pronger (8) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (34), Drew Miller (1)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Ryan Malone (12) ASST: Jeff Halpern (4), Martin St. Louis (24)|
4 - 3 TBL
|Ryan Craig Tripping against Scott Niedermayer|
|Scott Niedermayer Hooking against Adam Hall|
|Paul Ranger Tripping against Chris Kunitz|
|Matt Smaby Tripping against Brendan Mikkelson|
|Steve Eminger Holding against Rob Niedermayer|
|Chris Pronger Cross checking against Paul Szczechura|
|Chris Pronger Hooking against Evgeny Artyukhin|
|Ryan Getzlaf Fighting (maj) against Matt Pettinger|
|Matt Pettinger Fighting (maj) against Ryan Getzlaf|
|SA: 32||TOI: 59:43|
|Saves: 29||EV: 21 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 9|
|SV%: .906||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 19||TOI: 58:48|
|Saves: 15||EV: 13 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 3|
|SV%: .789||SH: 0 - 1|