It happened so fast that it was almost impossible to tell how Stamkos scored, sliding on his butt along the ice, in real time. Here was Jonas Hiller’s description of the goal, which brought the Tampa Bay Lightning to within 3-2 of the Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center:
“It was a play from behind the net; he shoots the puck and I think I made a pretty good save. It hit me right in the chest and bounced back. He fell backwards and just tipped it somehow. Sort of a lucky goal, but that’s what happens if you get in front of the net if you keep working for the rebounds.”
Note: Upon arriving home, I was not shocked to see this made SportsCenter’s #1 highlight.
Scott Niedermayer fired the game-winner past Lightning goaltender Mike Smith 52 seconds into the extra period, and Jonas Hiller made 21 saves as the Ducks snapped a four-game losing streak at Honda Center.
Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne each finished with a goal and two assists as the Ducks improved to 7-10-3.
The Penguins were missing their top four defensemen. But the Ducks were missing their energy.
A four-game road trip melted into oblivion Monday at the Igloo, where the defending Stanley Cup champions held the Ducks to two goals despite missing injured blueliners Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves, and his goal frame made another when Scott Niedermayer shot into a wide-open net during the second period.
Todd Marchant scored in the first period to pull the Ducks within 2-1, and picked up the secondary assist on Teemu Selanne’s third-period goal that made it 4-2. But clearly, the road-weary Ducks were playing catchup the entire night, taking some lazy penalties that translated into seven Penguins power plays.
Corey Perry notched the primary assist on Marchant’s goal, extending his scoring streak to a league-high 12 games. Linemate Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t as lucky, seeing his point streak end at 11 games, his franchise-record assist streak end at 10, and losing five minutes of ice time in the third period when he fought 38-year-old Bill Guerin at center ice.
Guerin and Matt Cooke scored in the first period for the Penguins, and Jordan Staal added a short-handed goal at 4:09 of the second that may have permanently deflated the Ducks. Martin Skoula and Cooke scored in the third period, the latter coming into an empty net with 12.9 seconds remaining.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 21 of 25 shots for the 6-10-3 Ducks, who return home to play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Kyle Calder, playing his first NHL game this season, was a minus-1 in 9:33 for the Ducks while alternating line partners.