The Tampa Bay Lightning got right back on the winning track after a loss in their previous game. They will try to continue their surge when they face the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, losers of four in a row.
Continuing a four-game road trip, the Lightning look to extend their point streak to seven games Thursday night as they take on the Ducks for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay (8-4-6) had won two in a row before suffering a 2-1 shootout loss to Los Angeles on Saturday. The Lightning bounced back behind Vincent Lecavalier(notes), who had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 victory over Phoenix on Monday night.
Lecavalier had gone eight games with only one goal, but broke out as his team won for the fourth time in six games (4-0-2).
“They weren’t beautiful goals at all, just shots on net going in,” said Lecavalier, who has four goals on the season. “They’ve been tough to get this year.”
“We’re getting some pretty good goaltending on this hockey club,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “Good goaltending makes anything look better.”
Tocchet starting Smith gave a night off to the red-hot Antero Niittymaki(notes), who is likely to be back in net Thursday. Niittymaki, 5-1-3 with a 1.93 goals-against average, has never faced Anaheim.
He will take on a sinking Ducks club that lost 5-2 to Pittsburgh on Monday to wrap up a winless four-game trip. Anaheim (6-10-3), owner of the worst record in the Western Conference, was coming off a 7-4 defeat to Detroit on Saturday in which it allowed five goals in the third period.
Coach Randy Carlyle held a team meeting after the game Monday.
“I’ve been on teams like this before and it’s never easy,” forward Todd Marchant(notes) said. “It’s almost seems like there’s never light at the end of the tunnel, but there is. There is time, time to turn this around. We have the personnel, we have the talent, we have the work ethic, we have the character in this room to do it.”
Tanguay has three goals and five assists in his last six games.
The Ducks are opening a season high-tying seven-game homestand. The Lightning visit Carolina on Saturday before concluding their trip Sunday in Atlanta.
Anaheim had won three straight in the series before Tampa Bay took the latest matchup, 4-3 on Jan. 9 at Honda Center.