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With Loss, Lightning Do Not Avoid this Trap Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning came into tonight’s game having gone 4-0-1 in their last five games. Their opponent, the Edmonton Oilers carried a three game losing streak into tonight’s clash. This game has all the makings of a trap game for Tampa. One to overlook in Heading off to Washington D.C. Friday then back to Amalie for a home and home with the Capitals. 

Home cooking has been a recipe for some mild success this early in the season. The Lightning are 3-1-1 in the friendly confines of Amalie Arena. After Friday’s game in D.C., the team will play five of their next six games at home. So, with these home games stockpiling points is a priority. How would the Lightning fare playing against the league’s top two scorers? Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are a handful to keep off the score sheet.

Opening Bell

Edmonton played the Capitals last night in Washington and lost 5-4. How much gas would they have tonight? Oilers coach Jay Woodcraft played 11 forwards and an extra defenseman. After the initial feeling out first few minutes, the Lightning were taking it to the visitors. Peppering Oiler goalie Jack Campbell with some decent chances but not putting any past him. Holding a 8-0 lead in shots, the Lightning had a power play with about 13 minutes left in the period. The Oilers penalty killers woke up their bench with a short handed goal to open the scoring.

Warren Foegele  got Edmonton’s first shot on goal against Andrei Vasilevskiy. This shot had eyes and the Oilers had a 1-0 lead. The Lightning had a rapid response to that when two minutes later, Tampa’s top line went to work. Braydon Point streaking down the left passed to Nikita Kucherov gliding down the middle. Kucherov then slid a no look sauce to Brandon Hagel who one timed a blast past Campbell to knot the game at one. That is where the score was at the end of the first period.

Would the Trap be Set in the Second Period

Less than two minutes into the period, Mikhail Sergachev was called for a holding penalty putting Edmonton on the power play. They took full advantage with a goal by McDavid 30 seconds into the power play. Edmonton gets back their one goal lead. As if that wasn’t enough a minute later the Lightning gave the Oilers another chance. Kucherov was called for a trip giving Edmonton another stab with the extra man.

This time 10 seconds into the power play, Draisaitl scores another power play goal to give the suddenly energized Oilers a 3-1 lead. After these two quick goals, there was a scary incident when Evander Kane was cut by the skate of Pat Maroon. Not to be undone by their hosts, Edmonton was whistled for a too many men penalty then a boarding penalty. Unfortunately, the Lightning power play came up empty. Even after another Oiler penalty, the Lightning found a way to negate that with a penalty of their own.

Steven Stamkos was called for a delay of game and when Edmonton had the man advantage, they seized on the opportunity. Zach Hyman appeared to score yet another Edmonton power play goal but the goal went immediately under review. After a lengthy review, the goal was disallowed because of a distinct kicking motion. Still 3-1 but would this be the momentum changer the Lightning need?

Would There Be Any Fight in the Lightning

I saw this game as a potential trap game. Last game of a four game homestand. The quick home and home series against Washington and Alex Ovechkin this Friday and upcoming Sunday. Edmonton limping in on a three game losing streak including a 5-4 loss last night. The Lightning riding a nice streak of their own, winners of four of their last five.

Less than a minute into the third, Alex Killorn scored an unassisted goal to cut the Edmonton lead. Now, it’s a one goal game at 3-2.

For added drama, Maroon scored what appeared to be the tying goal with about eight minutes left.  The goal went under review and it was declared that the puck never crossed the goal line. Upon even further review, it appeared Maroon was off side on the play.

Now as the game approached the final two minutes, Vasilevskiy was pulled for the extra skater. While it gave the Lightning some good scoring chances, it wasn’t meant to be. Edmonton with Campbell in net, held on for the 3-2 win.

Three Stars of The Game

  1. Connor McDavid with 1 goal and 1 assist
  2. Brayden Point with 2 assists
  3. Jack Campbell with 35 saves

What’s Next

Friday Night in Washington D.C. at 7:00 pm to face the Capitals.

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