On Wednesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning managed to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 despite having 2 goals disallowed. The Lightning’s penalty kill was the difference in the game. The Bolts entered the game having allowed a goal on 5 on their last 7 shorthanded situations, but were a perfect 4-0 on the night. Anaheim killed 3 penalties in the first period, but allowed the game-winning goal on a PK late in the second. Both teams have struggled to find the back of the net this season after finishing last season with deep playoff runs.
A low-shooting first period wrapped up in a 0-0 tie despite four penalties called in the frame. The Lightning could not score on their 3 chances on the power play, while the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell had a great scoring chance on their lone power play chance but hit the post to Bishop’s right side.
An exciting 2nd period saw three goals scored and three goals disallowed. Just 2:35 into the period, Jonathan Drouin snapped a perfect wrist shot through traffic by Anaheim goaltender John Gibson to put the Lightning up on the board 1-0. Less than 2 minutes later, Anaheim’s Corey Perry fired a rebounded puck over Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop’s left pad to tie the game. Exactly 2 minutes after that, a shot from the point was tipped into the net by Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, but the refs disallowed the goal following a review of the play, ruling that the puck was deflected in with a high stick. About 3 minutes later, Anaheim’s Chris Stewart shot a puck that Bishop seemed to save, but the goal light flashed and the crowd started cheering. The refs never indicated a goal so the score remained tied at 1-1. Much later in the period, Alex Killorn scored seven seconds into the Bolts’ final power play, but the goal would be immediately waved off as Ryan Callahan incidentally pushed Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm into Gibson which prevented him from making the save. On the same power play, Drouin passed the puck to Jonathan Marchessault from behind the net, who snapped the puck underneath Gibson’s right arm. Finally this goal would stand for the Lightning, putting them up 2-1.
Following an uneventful 3rd period in comparison, the Lightning held onto the lead with some stellar play from Ben Bishop, who Lightning head coach John Cooper credits with most of the responsibility for the win. Just 17 seconds into the 2nd period, Bishop made what was arguably one of his best saves of the season with the toe of his skate while sliding back to cover the net from Shawn Horcoff. Bishop is 6-0-1 against the Ducks in his career.
The Lightning continue their trip through California with a game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at 10:30PM.