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Ryan Malone scores late game winner as Lightning beat Ducks 4-3

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Ryan Malone scores late game winner as Lightning beat Ducks 4-3

The Canadian Press
By:

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Ryan Malone scored his second goal of the game with 9:10 left in the third period to put Tampa Bay ahead for good, and Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists in the Lightning's 4-3 victory over Anaheim on Friday night.

Vinny Prospal also scored and Vincent Lecavalier had two assists for the Lightning, 7-12-6 since Rick Tocchet replaced Barry Melrose as coach on Nov. 14. Karri Ramo, who has been backing up Mike Smith in net the past three weeks while Olaf Kolzig recovers from an undisclosed upper-body injury, made 29 saves in his first start of the season.

Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft, was scratched from the Tampa Bay lineup for the first time this season to build up his strength after a 16-game stretch in which he had only one goal and two assists.

Rookie Andrew Ebbett had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, and defencemen Steve Montador and Chris Pronger scored a 12-second span late in the second period to tie it at three.

Malone scored his third game-winner of the season on a rebound of Jeff Halpern's short wrist shot, giving him 12 goals for the season and five in his last seven games.

Malone gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead at 17:51 of the second period, skating out of the right corner with the puck and jamming it past goaltender Jonas Hiller while Pronger was off for cross-checking Paul Szczechura. But Montador scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle just 37 seconds later, and Pronger got the equalizer on a short wrist shot that beat Ramo to the glove side at 18:40 of the period.

Playing its first game in Anaheim since Dec. 14, 2005, Tampa Bay opened the scoring at 3:38 of the first period while killing off a tripping penalty against Ryan Craig.

Vincent Lecavalier fed the puck ahead to St. Louis, who carried it into the zone against Pronger and swerved around the five-time all-star defenceman before beating Jonas Hiller to the glove side with a short wrist shot. It was St. Louis' 16th goal, tying Lecavalier for the team lead.

Prospal, who spent the 2003-04 season with Anaheim, made it 2-0 when he redirected Lecavalier's wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Hiller's stick at 1:41 of the second period for his ninth goal.

Anaheim got on the board seven minutes later while rookie defenceman Matt Smaby was off for tripping Brendan Mikkelson. Ebbett tapped the puck into a wide-open net after Ramo stopped a slapshot from the right point by Bret Hedican and the rebound attempt by Brendan Morrison.

Notes: Ducks RW Corey Perry finished serving his four-game suspension for elbowing Philadelphia's Claude Giroux in the head. ... Anaheim recalled LW Matt Beleskey from Iowa of the AHL. He made his NHL debut in place of C Todd Marchant, who was scratched for the first time this season because of an upper body injury. ... The Ducks are 14-0-0 when leading after two periods - but have taken a lead into the third only once in their last 10 games. ... Nine of Lecavalier's 16 goals this season have come in Tampa Bay's 12 victories, including three two-goal efforts. ... St. Louis' short-handed goal was the third allowed by Anaheim this season and the second scored by Tampa Bay. The other also was by St. Louis, who has 27 in his NHL career. ... Anaheim and Tampa Bay are the only post-1980 expansion franchises that have won a Stanley Cup title. Clubs that joined the NHL in the 1979 merger with the WHA, including the five-time champion Edmonton Oilers, are not considered expansion teams. ... Anaheim is 8-for-23 on the power play over its last five games.

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Ryan Malone scores late game winner as Lightning beat Ducks 4-3