The Tampa Bay Lightning (15-14-2) came to do a bit of mining as they faced the young Edmonton Oilers (15-12-5) on Saturday night. Having split their Canadian road trip at this point, the Lightning hoped to come away with a win in the newly built Rodgers Place. However, the Oilers would have something to say about that, as they have been led by the NHL’s leading scorer in Connor McDavid (12G, 27A). Did the Bolts strike oil? Or did Edmonton send them packing? The puck was dropped and here’s what unfolded:
First Period: It was the same old song for the Lightning to start the first. Costly mistakes in their own zone nearly gifted the Oilers a goal on several occasions. They had given up first period goals several times this season already, so one here would have been incredibly frustrating for the Bolts. Thanks to some sharp play from Ben Bishop (9 W, 2.87 GAA, .905 Sv%), the Lightning were able to kill off two early penalties and keep the game scoreless.
With 4:55 left in the period, Tampa Bay would get their first power play chance of the night. They racked up no shots on the attempt, but were able to get some decent looks. The Bolts were ignited a bit by the opportunity, as they began to control play frequently until the Oilers began to apply pressure again. The Lightning had trouble getting the puck out of their zone and failed on several clearing attempts. It was becoming obvious that playing the night before was starting to catch up to them as they were outshot 11-5 in the first.
Second Period: The second started off with a flurry of penalties. The Lightning received their second power play of the night, but it was short lived since Vladislav Namestnikov (3G, 9A) was whistled for hooking 1:15 into the man advantage. The third time would be a charm for Edmonton on the power play, as Milan Lucic broke the stalemate with a wrist shot that beat Bishop and gave the Oilers the first lead of the night.
The Lightning found themselves back on their heels for a large chunk of the second and unable to convert on another power play attempt at 8:04. Frustration, fatigue, and turnovers were piling up as Edmonton slowly tightened the noose around the Lightning. However with 1:01 left in the second, the Bolts escaped the trap as Jonathan Drouin (6G, 8A) scored on the power play with a wicked wrister to tie the game. The second period came to a close and this one would be decided in the third.
Third Period/Overtime: The puck was dropped with the game on the line and both teams traded goals. Tampa Bay found pay dirt just 2:35 into the third as Tyler Johnson (8G, 8A) gave the Lightning the lead with the go-ahead goal from Cory Conacher (1G, 1A) on a two on one. Falling behind for the first time on the night, the Oilers would call upon their power play once again and converted with a Leon Draisaitl tally at 7:03 to get this one knotted at two.
For the rest of the period, both teams tested one another with the Lightning playing their best hockey of the night and catching Edmonton in terms of shots. In the end, it would come down to overtime, which saw Namestnikov almost win it for the Bolts with a shot off the crossbar. Unfortunately for the Lightning, McDavid would appear in the shootout and provide the winning score to give the win to the home club. The Lightning finished the road trip claiming three out of six points.
Three Stars of The Game:
- Leon Draisaitl, one goal and an assist
- Cam Talbot, 31 saves and a win
- Ben Bishop, 30 saves
Next up: Tampa Bay Lightning (15-14-3) vs. Detroit Red Wings (13-14-4) on Tuesday night at 7:30pm in Tampa.
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