Niedermayer's overtime strike lifts Ducks over Lightning

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After blowing a three-goal lead, the Anaheim Ducks needed someone to come to the rescue.

Captain Scott Niedermayer came through when it counted most, scoring a power-play goal 52 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Niedermayer scored his 13th career OT goal, an NHL record for defenseman, to snap the Ducks' four-game losing streak.

"The last one was a big-time shot by a big-time player," coach Randy Carlyle said. "The guy that made the play was Corey Perry in front of the net with a screen."

Perry didn't get an assist on Niedermayer's 38th career winning goal, but did extend his career-best point streak to 13 games with a power-play goal and two assists. Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne also had a goal and two assists each for the Ducks in the opener of a seven-game homestand that will go a long way in determining if Anaheim can salvage a playoff spot after a 6-10-3 start.

"We stuck with it, kept working and got rewarded for it," Niedermayer said. "The win is important. It eluded us on the road trip. To get back into that column and start building the wins is important for us."

Ryan Malone was sent off for cross-checking Getzlaf just 11 seconds into overtime, and Niedermayer got a drop pass from Getzlaf in the high slot before snapping off a 45-footer that beat Mike Smith high to the glove side.

Jeff Halpern, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis scored for the Lightning, and Malone and Steve Downie each had two assists.

Anaheim's Todd Marchant got a tripping penalty with a second left in the second period after upending Halpern, and St. Louis cashed in 1:38 after the intermission on a power play for the equalizer. He got the puck at the left point from Downie, moved laterally with it and took a slap shot that whizzed past Petteri Nokelainen and beat a screened Jonas Hiller to the glove side.

Ryan gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead at 6:52 of the second period, scoring on a wrist shot to the glove side after Joffrey Lupul barely kept the puck from sliding back over the Tampa Bay blue line. Ryan's ninth of the season came after David Hale cut him with a high stick and received a double-minor.

"Down 3-0 on the road and you get a point, that's pretty good," St. Louis said.

Just 49 seconds after Ryan scored, it was suddenly 3-2 as the Lightning struck twice in a span of 18 seconds. Downie had the puck behind the net and was tripped from behind by Sheldon Brookbank, but still managed to throw it out in front and Halpern converted the pass for his second goal of the season.

"When a team's down 3-0, they're going to push hard," Niedermayer said. "I think just made a couple of mistakes where we jumped behind the net and created openings, and they got their first two goals that way."

Stamkos added his 14th of the season, taking a swipe at the puck while falling down and tipping it past Hiller's glove after he was stopped on a one-timer from about 10 feet. At that point, Carlyle burned his only timeout to settle his club.

"We showed some resiliency," Ryan said. "In the past, we would have let those three goals really go to our heart and that would have been a time of self-destruction for us. But tonight we pulled together and grinded out the two points."

Smith received an interference penalty at 4:22 of the first period after he tried to play the puck behind the net, lost it on a poke-check by Perry and then pinned him against the boards. The Ducks opened the scoring just 3 seconds after Alex Tanguay finished serving Smith's penalty, with Selanne converting Getzlaf's pass through the crease for his 11th goal and 590th of his career.

Getzlaf made it 2-0 at 18:12 of the first.

"We moved the puck effectively and found the open man," Carlyle said. "We didn't panic with it in the zone, and we seemed to be under a lot of control with it."

Game notes
Anaheim D James Wisniewski, playing in his 200th NHL game, left the ice for good with a bruised right foot after blocking a shot by Paul Szczechura before the midway point of the first period. ... Stamkos has three goals in his last seven games, following a six-game goal streak in which he scored eight times. ... Ducks C MacGregor Sharp made his NHL debut.