Anthony Cirelli scores on overtime breakaway to lift Lightning past Ducks, 3-2

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Cirelli Scores As Bolts Defeat Ducks
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) shoots for the game-winning goal during the overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks, Sunday, March 24, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. Lightning won 3-2. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Cirelli scored 59 seconds into overtime on a two-man breakaway to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Sunday night, extending the Lightning’s points streak to seven games.

Cirelli and Brandon Hagel had a clear path to the net after Mason McTavish’s pass to Alex Killorn went off a skate. Cirelli got the loose puck and moved into the offensive zone and passed back to Hagel, who sent it back to Cirelli, who beat Lukas Dostal on the short side.

“It was a great backcheck there by (Nick) Perbix and Hagel. I saw Hagel out of the corner of my eye. Thought I’d give it to him and make him make a play, and it was fortunate to go in,” said Cirelli about his fourth career regular-season OT goal.

Anthony Duclair and Luke Glendening also scored for the Lighting, who have the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Jonas Johansson made 30 saves.

Ross Johnston and Pavel Mintyukov scored for Anaheim. Dostal stopped 25 shots.

“Tampa is at the end of a road trip. They played last night. So it’s an opportunity for us to get a point or two,” Ducks coach Greg Cronin said. “I thought we were skating, but I thought our puck management was poor throughout most of the game until the third period.”

Duclair has points in all seven games since being acquired from Florida. He tied Ottawa’s Chris Tierney for the second-longest points streak to begin a tenure with a franchise among all active players. Alex Ovechkin tops the list with points in each of his first eight games with the Capitals in 2005-06.

“Since the trade deadline we’ve really turned the corner. Duclair and (defenseman Matt) Dumba have come in and really given our team a little life,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Special teams have been great and the goaltending has been excellent and its added up to some points for us in the last few weeks here.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, who leads the NHL in scoring with 123 points, saw his 13-game point streak snapped. The Lightning forward had five goals and 29 points during the run, which was tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the league’s longest this season.

Johnston scored his first goal in nearly two years with 6:11 left in the first period when he rushed to the net and tipped in Jakob Silfverberg’s pass. It snapped a 74-game NHL drought, with his last one coming when he was with the New York Islanders.

Duclair evened it 7:50 into the second when he put in a rebound. It was Duclair’s fifth goal and ninth point with the Lightning.

Glendening put the Lightning up 2-1 late in the second period with a backhander into an open net after Dostal went down to stop Austin Watston’s shot.

Mintyukov became the first Ducks defenseman in 18 games to score when he put in a wrist shot 2:36 into the third while the Ducks were on a three-on-two rush.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Host Boston on Wednesday night.

Ducks: At Seattle on Tuesday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl