TAMPA, Fla. — Valtteri Filppula had two goals and an assist, goalie Ben Bishop won his 13th game this season and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-1 in a matchup of conference leaders Thursday night.
Martin St. Louis added a goal and two assists for the Lightning, who played their first home game and second overall — both victories — without star Steven Stamkos. The center, out indefinitely after breaking his right leg Monday, had surgery Tuesday in Boston and returned to Florida on Thursday.
“Nice to be back home in Tampa,” Stamkos tweeted. “Can't thank all the staff at Mass General enough for all their hard work and dedication the past four days.”
Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman had the other Tampa Bay goals.
Emerson Etem scored for the Ducks, who were coming off a 3-2 loss Tuesday night to lowly Florida.
“Even with our record, I thought we were pretty fragile,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “And once you got behind, it was like the shoulders dipped, and again, we didn't have enough pushback. It's not us. We haven't done that in 20 games. When they started to get physical, we didn't meet the bell.”
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed his third game with an upper-body injury, but Boudreau said the center could return Friday at Carolina or Monday against Pittsburgh.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry didn't take part in the morning skate due to the flu, but was in the lineup. A number of Anaheim players, including starting goalie Jonas Hiller, have had the flu recently.
“If you want to give excuses, yeah. They are,” Boudreau said. “We just didn't compete hard enough in a game that was an important game. And when you don't compete against a team that competes, it doesn't matter who's in the lineup or who's out of the lineup, you're not going to have success.”
Filppula and St. Louis, on the power play, put the Lightning up 2-0 on first-period goals. St. Louis ended a seven-game goal drought.
The Ducks went 13 1/2 minutes before getting a shot in the first. Bishop made an in-close save late in the period on Teemu Selanne. The right wing, 11th on the career goals list with 678, has not scored a goal in his last nine games.
Tampa Bay went up 3-0 on Filppula's power-play goal 3:16 into the second. Killorn made it 4-0 at 10:51 of the second.
Etem pulled Anaheim to 4-1 with 3:53 left in the second. Hedman scored early in the third.
When: 4 PST.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket. Radio: AM 830.
Etc: The Ducks play their second back-to-back game of the season, facing a team that's 3-0-1 so far on its five-game homestand. Goalie Justin Peters has allowed only four goals on 114 shots in the four games. Carolina leads the NHL in takeaways. Goalie Viktor Fasth returned to the Ducks' active roster Thursday and could start.
— LANCE PUGMIRE