By Dory LeBlanc
The Lightning entered Thursday's game 6-0-0 against Western Conference teams, with both Tampa Bay (Eastern) and Anaheim (Western) first place in their conferences.
The Lightning extended that streak to seven with their 5-1 win over the Ducks.
After only five total shots on goal, all belonging to the Lightning, halfway through the first period, Valtteri Filppula opened the scoring after chasing down the puck in the offensive zone, keeping possession to set up the play, then taking a cross-ice pass from Teddy Purcell, and sending it into the net at 11:52.
Less than five minutes later, Filppula picked up his second point of the night assisting on a Martin St. Louis power play goal to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. The goal was the captain's first in eight games and snapped the Lightning's 0-for-22 drought with a man-advantage.
The Bolts, who haven't been involved in a fight since October 19th were involved in two tussles in the opening 20 minutes.
3:16 into the middle stanza, Filppula struck again for his second goal and third point of the evening, firing a high wrister to extend Tampa Bay's lead to it 3-0 over the Ducks.
Filppula, who signed a five-year $25 million contract with the Lightning in June, has eight goals on the season, one goal shy of his total tally last year while a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
Over seven minutes later, Alex Killorn put the Bolts up 4-0 after scoring on his own rebound. St. Louis picked up his third point on the night as he was credited with an assist on the goal.
After being dominated the better part of 36 minutes of the game, the Ducks got on the board when Emerson Etem's wrister got past Ben Bishop to narrow the Lightning's lead to 4-1 with 3:53 to go.
When play resumed in the third, the Lightning kept the pressure on the Ducks, scoring goal No. 5 at 2:05 as Victor Hedman became the third Tampa Bay player of the contest to notch a multi-point game (Hedman picked up an assist on Filppula's second goal).
The remainder of the third period was much slower than the previous 50 minutes, but with the 5-1 lead, the Lightning never got lazy - the Ducks clamped down defensively and began to have the puck in their offensive zone much more than in the previous two periods.
Bishop continues to be the clear No. 1 goaltender for the Bolts, stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced.
Attendance: 17, 763
Shots On Goal:
ANA - 24
TB - 20
ANA - 0-3
TB - 2-2
Three Stars of the Game: TBA
1. Valtteri Filppula
2. Martin St. Louis
3. Victor Hedman
Next up for the Bolts: Tampa Bay will travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes on Saturday, November 16th at 8:00pm. Tune in to 970 WFLA to hear Hall of Famer Phil Esposito and Dave Mishkin's call.