NHL Game Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks | 01/13/2024

Steven Stamkos on the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning
Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

After starting what was labeled to be a ‘crucial’ home stand with a couple of overtime victories, the Tampa Bay Lightning were looking to stay perfect at Amalie Arena in 2024 when they hosted the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. They did that in a convincing 5-1 win.

It took a little time for the Lightning to get going, as they seemingly sleepwalked through the first 20 minutes. Heck, the most excitement happened when former Bolts forward Alex Killorn was honored with a video tribute in his first trip to Tampa after signing a six-year deal with the Ducks in free agency. He was met with thunderous applause by a fan base that loved him like few others, and the feeling is likely mutual, considering the length of time he spent skating around the ice, saluting those same fans.

The second period saw the Lightning get engaged. It all started with rookie defenseman Emil Lilleberg laying a big open-ice hit on Ducks forward Brett Leason. That physicality energized the Bolts because they got going shortly thereafter.

Coming off a cold spell, going 0-for-9 in their past three games, the Lightning power play heated up in this game. They went a perfect 3-for-3, all coming in the middle frame. In fact, all four of the goals scored in the second (three by Tampa Bay and one for Anaheim) came with the man advantage.

Victor Hedman kicked things off, taking a pass from Steven Stamkos and firing the puck through traffic and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The goal was the 150th of his career, sixth among active NHL blue liners. It also tied him with one of the great Swedish defensemen to play the game, Borje Salming, for third-most among all Swedes that played on the back end, behind Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson.

Over five minutes later, Stamkos doubled the Lightning’s lead to 2-0 on a rebound after Ducks goaltender Lukas Dostal made the initial save. With his 203rd career power-play goal, the captain passed Steve Yzerman for the 18th most goals while up a man in league history.

Unfortunately, a scrum after the whistle gave Anaheim some life, with Hedman assessed an extra two-minute minor plus a 10 minute misconduct by the guys in stripes. Frank Vatrano showed why he was recently named a first-time All-Star, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy to cut the lead to one at 2-1.

Stamkos answered back, though, with another power-play goal to make it 3-1 Lightning. This one was the 204th of his career, tying him with the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, for 17th in NHL history. Nikita Kucherov registered his third assist of the night and 800th career point, another milestone to add to a night full of them for the Bolts.

The final 20 minutes was all Lightning. They outshot the Ducks 16 to 4 and got two more goals. Calvin DeHaan started things with a wrister from a bad angle that handcuffed Dostal, making it 4-1.

Eight minutes after DeHaan’s tally, Brandon Hagel found the rebound of a Nick Paul shot and shoveled the puck past Dostal for a 5-1 final. For Hagel, this was his third goal in the last five games after going 18 without scoring.

With this win, the Lightning improved to 22-17-5 and are one point back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division at 49 points. They also surpassed the New York Islanders for the first Wild Card spot by one point.

After playing the most games of any team so far this season (44), the Lightning finally get a much-deserved break, with four days off before wrapping up this home stretch against another beloved Bolt in Pat Maroon and the Minnesota Wild Thursday night, January 18. Puck drop is at 7pm EST.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Lauren Burg

Lauren Burg is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer for “Inside the Rink.” A lifelong Tampa Bay Area resident, she graduated from the University of South Florida’s world-renowned journalism program in December 2009. While in college, she discovered hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning. She quickly became a passionate fan, attending many games over the years. She also experienced an All-Star game in 2018, numerous road games, and, most recently, the Bolts back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Since graduating college, she’s been working hard to combine her two loves, writing and hockey, hoping to one day make that her full-time career. In her free time, she enjoys attending sporting events (both home & road when possible), taking photos, and traveling.

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