Ducks struggle against Lightning – Press Enterprise

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By MARK DIDTLER Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — The Ducks allowed Steven Stamkos to score a pair of power-play goals during a 3:51 span in the second period and had an assist in the loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov added had three assists for the Lightning on Saturday night.

Lukas Dostal stopped 36 shots and Frank Vatrano had a power-play goal for the Ducks, who have lost nine of 11 (2-8-1). Goalie John Gibson, who left Thursday’s game at Carolina after two periods with an upper-body injury, was the backup.

Tampa Bay was 3 for 3 on the power play.

“In a game like this you can’t have penalties,” Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg said. “They scored on them. It’s tough to comeback from that.”

Stamkos has 204 power-play goals, which ties Wayne Gretzky for 17th place. The center has 533 goals overall and moved into tie for 35th place with Frank Mahovlich. He had just two goals in his previous 12 games after a four-goal game at Edmonton last month.

“That’s kind of weird,” Stamkos said about tying Gretzky. “It goes to show he did a lot of damage not on the power play, too.”

Stamkos is the first Tampa Bay player to have 100 three-point games.

Kucherov became the 183rd player to reach 800 points and has 72 this season.

Victor Hedman, Calvin de Haan and Brandon Hagel also scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 19 saves as Tampa Bay won its third straight.

The game got chippy after Ducks right wing Brett Leason was hurt on a hard check by Lightning defenseman Emil Martinsen Lilleberg six minutes into the second. Leason didn’t return due to an upper-body injury.

“That changed the game for us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I honestly thought we were asleep in the first period. Quite frankly, it was very disappointing. I think the players knew my feelings after the first, I hope the kid’s OK. It was a pretty clean hit. He kind of brought us into the fight.”

Ducks coach Greg Cronin had no update postgame on Leason.

Six minutes later Hedman received two minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct during a scrum.

Stamkos made it 2-0 at 10:56 into second. After Vatrano scored on the power play, Stamkos got the goal back when his pass went off Ducks defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin’s stick at 14:47.

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