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Lightning remain perfect vs. Western Conference, smash Ducks

The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to turn away the best that the Western Conference has to offer. Center Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and added an assist as the Lightning skated to a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Right winger Martin St. Louis added a goal and two assists as the Lightning had 10 different players record a point.

"We had really good legs tonight," Filppula said. "Sometimes when you come off road trips the legs aren't there but we skated well tonight and played well on the defensive end."

Tampa Bay (14-5-0) is now 7-0-0 against the Western Conference and has won its first two games since losing star center Steven Stamkos to a broken right tibia.

Filppula's first goal came on a clear look after a beautiful cross-ice feed from forward Teddy Purcell. Purcell's stick work drew the attention of four Ducks and left Filppula open for a one-timer past Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Anaheim (15-5-1) came into Thursday's game with the best record in the league but the Ducks were bottled up by the Lightning defense at times and spent much of the first period chasing pucks in their own zone.

"We are going to have to play tough on defense every night because without Stammer we're going to need to win low scoring games," Filppula added.

Tampa Bay (14-5-0) kept up the pressure in the second period with Filppula's second goal coming off of a screen that allowed him to skate to the middle of the ice and sent a wrist shot past Hiller.

"He's a pretty confident kid right now," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "He's making plays everywhere on the ice that only a select few guys can make."

Center Alex Killorn's second-period goal came after his initial shot was deflected by Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa and the puck came back to his stick for a shot past Hiller to make a 4-0.

"We just didn't work hard enough tonight," said center Nick Bonino. "They worked harder than us. We have to dig deep. Good thing is we get to come back a day later and turn this thing around. We can put this effort behind us."

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop notched his 13th win of the season and recorded 24 saves. Forward Victor Hedman added a goal and an assist.

"I don't want to take anything away from our game, I thought we played pretty good," said St. Louis. "But I don't think we saw their best tonight. I think it will be a different team next week. Our power play finally clicked for us and that's going to be a big key for us on the road."

Winger Emerson Etem scored the Ducks only goal when he skated past Hedman and defenseman Alex Barberio to get a one-on-one with Bishop late in the second period.

Defensemen Cam Fowler and Francois Beauchemin had assists for Anaheim.

"Even with our record, I thought we were pretty fragile so when we got behind, our shoulders dipped and we didn't have enough push back," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "That's not us and we haven't done that in 20 games. We were pretty bad tonight."

NOTES: Lightning D Sami Salo missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury sustained during Monday's 3-0 loss to Boston. Lightning coach Jon Cooper expects Salo to return to the ice during the team's west coast trip. ... Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf also missed Thursday's game with an upper-body injury but RW Corey Perry (flu) was in the starting lineup. ... Lightning RW J.T. Brown, called up from Syracuse to replace the injured Steven Stamkos, scored his first point of the season with an assist to C Martin St. Louis' goal. ...The Ducks did not record their first shot on goal until 6:36 remaining in the first period.
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