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Stamkos, Lightning strike Ducks with 4-goal blitz

Steven Stamkos capped Tampa Bay’s four-goal second period with his 31st of the season, and the Lighting stormed past the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Wednesday night. Anton Stralman, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov also scored, and Ben Bishop made 24 saves for the Lightning, who overtook Anaheim and the New York Islanders by a point in the overall standings and tied Montreal and St. Louis for second behind Nashville.635599044746457365-USATSI-8390233

Patrick Maroon scored for the Ducks, who allowed at least four goals for the fourth time in five games. John Gibson stopped 28 shots in place of Frederik Andersen, who missed his fourth straight game due to an upper body injury. The Ducks played without left wing Matt Beleskey and defenseman Sami Vatanen, who were injured Sunday during a 5-3 loss to Washington. They are expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

Beleskey is second on the club with 21 goals, including eight game-winners. Vatanen leads Anaheim defenseman with 12 goals. The Lightning, who lead the NHL with 195 goals, struck twice during an 84-second span and grabbed a 2-1 lead at 5:55 of the second. Stralman redirected Brian Boyle’s turnaround wrist shot from the left boards past Gibson’s glove, and Johnson had an easy tap-in after Ondrej Palat got control of a rebound in front of the crease.

Kucherov and Stamkos increased the margin to 4-1 with goals 1:34 apart. Kucherov netted his 22nd of the season during a goal-mouth scramble as defenseman Cam Fowler failed to clear the puck in front of Gibson. Stamkos connected from the base of the left circle just 20.4 seconds before the second intermission. Maroon opened the scoring at 4:17 of the first period, jamming his seventh goal past defenseman Victor Hedman and the outstretched left leg of Bishop from the right of the crease.