The 10-10-3 Anaheim Ducks are in Florida for a meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night in the NHL. The Ducks are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators, and now they have to play another top-contender in their next outing. They were at home for seven of eight games before hitting the road for a five-game jaunt. It isn’t going to be easy, as they’ve already played the Predators and have a back-to-back tomorrow with the Panthers.
They wrap up their road trip with a meeting against the Capitals in Washington. Just getting a couple of wins out of this might be seen a reasonable result. The Ducks are not close to the team they were in the past. They have been a fixture of the playoffs for the last decade, but it’s going to be a difficult road for them in 2018-19.
Anaheim won the Cup back in 2007 and had some opportunities to win another since then, but always seemed to come up short in getting to the Stanley Cup Final again. The window is sure closing fast on the Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry era in Anaheim. They both arrived at the same time and won a Cup in the infancy of their careers.
Teemu Selanne was still a fixture of the Ducks, while Getzlaf and Perry were carving out an identity. The Lightning haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 2004, so in a similar way, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are approaching a similar scenario, albeit neither were around for that championship. The Lightning blasted the Devils by a score of 5-2 on Sunday. They struck early with a 4-1 at the 1st intermission. Tampa coasted from there and won it 5-2. They’ve been on a nice run recently and will look to keep it going against the Ducks. Head below for our free Ducks vs. Lightning pick.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The Lightning will be looking for their sixth win in seven games tonight against the Ducks. It’s been too easy for Tampa over their last three games, with wins of 5-2, 4-2, and 7-3. Their only loss during this stretch came against the Preds, 3-2, a team who they wouldn’t mind seeing in the playoffs because it would mean it’s the Final. It’s a very real possibility. With a record of 7-3 in their previous ten games, the Bolts have moved to 17-6-1 to afford themselves the top record in the NHL.
A Buffalo win and Tampa loss would change that tonight, though. Kucherov was named one of the top players of the week for his play. He leads the team with 32 points, while Brayden Point has been awfully successful in 2018-19 with 17 goals and 31 points. They also have it good on the blueline with Ryan McDonagh and Victor Hedman. Tampa lead the NHL in scoring with 3.79 goals per game and have notched a whopping 4.2 per game in their last ten games.
On the other side, the Ducks have had trouble finding offence. They’ve been hoping somebody will step up, but it’s been hard with their aging core. Anaheim rank dead last in the NHL, scoring just 2.16 goals per game in the 2018-19 campaign thus far. In their last ten games it’s been only 1.8 per game for the Ducks. The Lightning have been without Vasilevskiy, but Domingue has been holding up relatively well between the pipes. With the Ducks’ offensive difficulties, don’t expect them to keep up with the Lightning in this one. The Lightning pull away to sink the Ducks in Tampa.