After a slow start, the defending Stanley Cup champions are beginning to look the part thanks to goaltender John Grahame.
Tampa Bay’s current winning streak is its longest since a franchise record eight-game run from Feb. 23-March 6, 2004.
If Grahame gets the start, he will also try extend his personal franchise-record winning streak to 10 games. Grahame needed to make just 13 saves in the Lightning’s 3-1 win Saturday over the Nashville Predators and broke the record of eight wins in a row set by Nikolai Khabibulin from Feb. 23-March 6, 2004.
Despite his success, Grahame is careful not to take too much credit.
“We try not to have individual awards on this team,” Grahame said. “That’s what makes us successful. The team has won nine games. That’s the way I look at it. We all contribute during the game.”
Martin St. Louis, a key to the Tampa Bay’s run to the Cup, will try to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games. He has just one assist in eight lifetime games versus Anaheim.
The Mighty Ducks failed to score in eight power play opportunities and are 1-for-22 with the man advantage in their last four games.
“We showed up flat for some reason,” Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. “It’s unacceptable. We’re better than that. We’re a skating team and we can’t afford to not show up for 60 minutes.”
Giguere is 2-1-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in three games against the Lightning.
Anaheim holds a 9-7-1 edge in the series.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 13): Lightning - 37 points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Southeast Division. Mighty Ducks - 31 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Fredrik Modin, 14 goals; Brad Richards, 23 assists; Vaclav Prospal, 35 points; Pavel Kubina, 48 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 16 goals and 27 points; Scott Niedermayer, 17 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 57 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 13): Lightning - Power play: 14.8 percent (27 for 182), tied for 23rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (126 for 149), 6th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 14.7 percent (28 for 190), tied for 25th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (175 for 209), 8th.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 29, 2003; Mighty Ducks, 2-0. At Tampa, Fla., Giguere stopped 31 shots for his only road shutout of the season, and Petr Sykora had one goal and one assist.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 7-5-2 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 10-6-2 at home.