Oilers diffuse Lightning 3-2, win fourth straight
|Steve Staios congratulates Jeff Deslauriers on his fourth straight road victory at Tampa Bay. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Despite surrendering the first goal of the game to the Lightning, the Oilers rode Zack Stortini
's Gordie Howe hat trick to their fourth straight road win. The successful comeback also marked Edmonton's third straight come-from-behind victory.
and Dustin Penner
scored Edmonton's first two goals, while Jeff Deslauriers
made 32 saves for the win.
Only a minute into the game, the Lightning struck. On a two-on-one, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis beat Sheldon Souray
and then goalie Jeff Deslauriers
to give the home team an early 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, the Oilers got the chance to tie things up when Andrej Meszaros took a hooking minor, but the man-advantage lasted less than a minute thanks to Sam Gagner
's holding penalty.
The powerplays were unsuccessful, but Edmonton soon matched Tampa Bay's shot total and then got a goal of their own during five-on-five. Although Robert Nilsson and Zack Stortini
missed the net on both their shots, defenceman Tom Gilbert
cut in and wristed the puck past goalie Mike smith to tie the game 1-1 at 11:21.
Late in the period, the teams added some brawling to the scoring when Stortini and Zenon Konopka dropped their gloves in the Oilers zone. Both players held their own in the battle and then split to serve their fighting majors.
After 20 minutes, the Oilers were up 11 shots to 10 but remained tied with the Lightning 1-1.
3:15 into the middle frame, fans were treated to another fight, this time between Ryan Stone
and Steve Downie. Both players landed punches in the old-school scrap, but the Oilers came out on top thanks to Downie's initial tripping minor.
Although the second visiting powerplay failed to yield a go-ahead goal, the Oilers found what they were looking for shortly thereafter. With help from Sam Gagner
and Gilbert Brule
, Dustin Penner
beat Smith with a wrister to make it 2-1 Edmonton.
But the lead wouldn't last long. Only one minute later, St. Louis dropped the puck for Victor Hedman and the first-rounder tucked it under Deslauriers' crossbar to renew the tied game.
The back-an-forth game continued, thanks to a Gordie Howe hat trick. With a fight and assist already on his resume, Stortini added a goal and another fight to his tally, putting Edmonton back on top to close out the period.
The Oilers came out strong in the third, firing four shots and coming within inches of increasing their lead, but Smith made his 25th stop of the game to keep his club within one.
Back-to-back visiting penalties, including a controversial roughing minor to Stortini, gave the Lightning a four-minute man-advantage, but the home team couldn't capitalize on their two attempts.
With three minutes left in regulation, the teams had both posted 30 shots but the Oilers maintained a slim one-goal lead.
The Lightning pulled Smith in the final two minutes, but Deslauriers withstood the assault to snag his team's third come-from-behind 3-2 win and stretch their winning streak to four games.
|Three star selections
||MARTIN ST. LOUIS