(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to rebound from their first home loss in nearly two months when they host the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks in Sunday's showdown at Amalie Arena.
The Lightning had won a club-record 10 straight on home ice before falling 4-2 in Saturday's matchup against the Los Angeles Kings. The regulation setback was Tampa's first defeat in Central Florida since dropping a 5-3 decision to Washington on Dec. 9.
Tampa still boasts a 21-5-1 record as the host and the Lightning can regain sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division by gaining at least a point from today's finale of a two-game homestand. The Bolts enter Sunday tied with Detroit for the division's top spot after the Red Wings recorded a victory Saturday night in Arizona. Detroit is idle on Sunday.
Montreal is just two points behind the Lightning and Wings in the Atlantic. The Canadiens are scheduled to play in Boston on Sunday.
Los Angeles jumped on Ben Bishop for three goals on nine shots in the first period and chased the Lightning goaltender from the game after 20 minutes. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the test with 19 saves.
The Bolts were able to cut into the Kings' early three-goal lead and trailed only 3-2 after Victor Hedman scored early in the third period. However, Justin Williams posted his second goal of the game at 7:46 of the final stanza to arrive at the final margin.
"We didn't start the game well being down 3-0," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos noted. "We're not going to win too many games in this league starting behind like that. We never quit, but the fourth goal was kind of a backbreaker. We didn't seem to respond well after that."
Nikita Kucherov also tallied for the Lightning, while Bishop took the loss.
After his abbreviated outing on Saturday, Bishop could be back in net to start today's game. He is 2-0-1 with a .72 goals against average in three career tilts against Anaheim.
The Ducks, meanwhile, hope to bounce back from their third loss in five games when they take the ice Sunday. Anaheim had won two in a row, including a 5-2 victory in Nashville to begin a five-game road trip, before dropping a shootout decision Friday night in Washington.
Anaheim failed to get head coach Bruce Boudreau a win against his former team, as the Capitals posted a 3-2 win after Nicklas Backstrom netted the deciding goal in the shootout.
Boudreau served as Washington's head coach from 2007-2011. He was fired early in the 2011-12 season only to be hired two days later by the Ducks.
Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry tallied for the Ducks, who still lead the NHL with 75 points, one more than Nashville. The Predators also play Sunday against the Florida Panthers.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 32 stops in Friday's loss and let two shots slip by in the shootout.
"In the first period, the team worked hard to protect him. In the second and third, he worked hard to protect the team," Boudreau said of Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov fell to 1-3-1 on the season, but regular starter Frederik Andersen is expected to be back in the crease on Sunday. Andersen, who is 29-7-5 this season, has never faced the Lightning.
The Ducks scratched captain Ryan Getzlaf from the lineup due to an undisclosed injury and recalled forward William Karlsson from Norfolk of the AHL. Getzlaf is expected to be a game-time decision on Sunday.
Anaheim has claimed four of six and seven of its last 10 against the Lightning overall, but Tampa has won two straight in the series on home ice.
The Ducks are 15-6-4 as the guest this season and will visit Florida on Tuesday before completing their trip Thursday at Carolina.