It wasn't Paul Kariya or Teemu Selanne who did most of the damage to end Tampa Bay's three-game winning streak Wednesday night. It was Stu Grimson.
Grimson, who had nine goals and 1,542 penalty minutes in his previous 510 NHL games, recorded the first two-goal game of his career to power the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to a 5-3 victory.
"If you're going to get beat, you want to get beat by Kariya or Selanne, not by Grimson," Lightning coach Jacques Demers said. "But in all due respect to Grimson, I respect him. He's an honest hockey player, he works hard and he's such a great team guy. I never coached him, but I hear so many good things about him."
Grimson, who scored one goal in 114 games with the Ducks before returning to Anaheim in August in a trade with Carolina, ended a 20-game goal drought at 11:53 of the second period. He parked himself at the edge of the crease and deflected in rookie Antti Aalto's 20-footer for a 3-1 lead.
"All the credit goes to my linemates," said the nine-year veteran, who played on a fourth line with Aalto at center and rookie and Johan Davidsson at left wing. "We played simple. We were able to sustain some pressure in their end and there were tons of opportunities for us."
Less than three minutes after Grimson's first goal, the Ducks left Guy Hebert virtually defenseless during a goalmouth scramble and Cory Cross put a backhander high into an empty for his first goal since Feb. 28 against Washington. But Grimson responded just 48 seconds later with his 11th career goal and first since March 23, giving the Ducks a 4-2 advantage.
"For a guy like me, it doesn't flow that smoothly vry often," Grimson said. "Do I have any scoring clauses in my contract? I don't think so. I've got to call my agent."
Kariya and Tomas Sandstrom scored less than two minutes apart in the first period on redirected shots and Hebert made 42 saves, helping Anaheim extend its unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1).
The game was played before only 13,963, the smallest crowd to witness a hockey game in the 17,174-seat Anaheim Arena since the Ducks entered the league in October 1993.
Mikael Renberg and Wendel Clark also scored for the Lightning, who failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage they had for a minute and 16 seconds after staggered penalties to Jamie Pushor and Kevin Haller in the third period. Clark's goal, his 300th in the NHL, came on a power play with 10 seconds remaining to pull Tampa Bay within one goal.
Then Selanne secured the victory for Anaheim on an empty-netter with five seconds remaining.
The Ducks were on a power play when Kariya opened the scoring at 16:14 of the first period against Daren Puppa, who entered the game after an eye injury to Bill Ranford.
Ranford, whose next appearance will be his 600th in the NHL, stopped all eight shots he faced before leaving the game with 7:46 left in the opening period. He was cut near the left eye by the blade of Kariya's stick during a goal-mouth scramble and did not return.
Defenseman Ruslan Salei, playing for the first time in seven games after serving a five-game suspension, sent a soft wrist shot along the ice from the right point and Kariya deflected it through Puppa's pads for his fourth goal.
Marty McInnis, playing his first game with Anaheim after Tuesday's three-way trade with Chicago and Calgary, set up the Ducks' second goal. He sent a shot toward the net from the left circle and Sandstrom steered it between Puppa's legs before colliding with the goalie. The goal was Sandstrom's 14th in 16 career games against the Lightning.
"We dominated the game, but we made crucial mistakes at crucial times," Demers said. "We had more chances to score than they did, but you can't cough up the puck like we did in certain areas and give up some bad goals."
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