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Secondary scoring leads Bolts to ninth-straight win

Maroon, Gourde and Paquette all score for Tampa Bay in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Edmonton

by Jacob Lynn @TBLightning /

With injuries forcing Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos out of the lineup for Thursday's game against Edmonton, the Lightning needed others to step up.

A trio of normally bruising forwards answered the call for Tampa Bay, as Pat Maroon, Yanni Gourde and Cedric Paquette provided the offense in a 3-1 win over the Oilers that extended the Bolts' winning streak to nine games.

After a scoreless opening period, the teams went back-and-forth in the second.

The Bolts got on the board first at 4:39 of the period with Pat Maroon scoring from below the goalline by banking the puck off Mike Smith's equipment and into the net. The lead would last only five minutes, as Caleb Jones answered back for Edmonton. Jones had his initial shot blocked by Ondrej Palat but stuck with the play and fired the rebound past Andrei Vasilevskiy. Yanni Gourde scored on a shorthanded breakaway 13 minutes into the period to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.

Video: EDM@TBL: Gourde roofs shot on breakaway for SHG

Edmonton had chances down the stretch in the third period, most notably Sam Gagner who had the puck fall to him below the circle but Vasilevskiy was quick moving to his right to shut down the shot headed for the near post. Minutes later, Cedric Paquette scored into an empty net to seal the victory.

Thursday was just another example of the Bolts finding a way to win a low scoring game. Vasilevsky was sharp in goal once again, making 29 saves but he also got help from the skaters in front of him in limiting the Oilers' dangerous scoring chances. Tampa Bay has conceded only one goal in each of their last three victories and hasn't conceded more than two in a game so far in February.

The aforementioned injuries forced the Lightning to dramatically alter Thursday's lineup. Cameron Gaunce - listed as a defenseman - made his season debut as a forward, skating on a line with Paquette and Maroon. Alexander Volkov was also called up from Syracuse on Wednesday and skated in his ninth game of the year.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
No Scoring

2nd Period
TBL | 4:39 Pat Maroon (7) - Cameron Gaunce, Luke Schenn
EDM | 9:36 Caleb Jones (3) - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl
TBL | 13:01 Yanni Gourde (8) - Unassisted - SHG

3rd Period
TBL | 19:04 Cedric Paquette (5) - Brayden Point, Alex Killorn - EN

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