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game recap

Vasilevskiy streak hits 20 for Lightning with win against Oilers

Ninth straight for Tampa Bay, which played without Kucherov

by Corey Long / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Gourde's top-shelf SHG

EDM@TBL: Gourde roofs shot on breakaway for SHG

Yanni Gourde steals the puck, skates into the zone on a breakaway and lifts a shot over Mike Smith's blocker for a shorthanded goal in the 2nd

  • 00:37 •

TAMPA -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves and extended his point streak to 20 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Vasilevskiy is 18-0-2 in his past 20 starts. He made a diving save on Leon Draisaitl at 5:42 of the third period and later denied Sam Gagner with a sliding save at 18:04.

"The goalie is playing huge," Lightning forward Pat Maroon said "[Vasilevskiy] has been unbelievable. He's making key saves at key moments of the game. Everyone is finding ways to close the house."

 

[WATCH: All Oilers at Lightning highlights]

 

Caleb Jones scored for Edmonton (30-21-6), which lost for the first time in its second game without injured center Connor McDavid. Mike Smith made 34 saves.

"We had lots of compete in our game," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "[Smith] was really strong. We had some chances there that were, kind of around it, but didn't capitalize on it. Mistakes end up being the dictator of the game and we came out on the short end."

Yanni Gourde scored a shorthanded goal for the Lightning (38-15-5), who have won nine in a row. Tampa Bay's 10-game home winning streak tied its record (Dec. 11, 2014-Jan. 31, 2015).

Forwards Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli did not play; each has a lower-body injury.

"You don't want see guys injured on the team," Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak said. "I think everybody tonight put out a great effort. Everyone was working hard and we won this game."

Video: EDM@TBL: Maroon banks shot off Smith from tough angle

Maroon gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 4:39 of the second period when he jammed the puck from behind the net.

"Down the stretch it's big-body hockey for me," Maroon said. "Just keep going to the net. I was getting away from that for a bit. I got to the front of the net tonight, got the rebound, saw [Smith] was out and banked it off of him."

Jones tied it 1-1 at 9:36 with an assist from Draisaitl, who leads the NHL with 90 points (32 goals, 58 assists) this season.

Video: EDM@TBL: Jones beats Vasilevskiy with quick wrister

Gourde made it 2-1 with a breakaway goal at 13:01 of the second period. He has scored in the past two games after 35 straight without a goal.

"That's how it goes right," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You don't score for a while and all of a sudden they start coming for you. Probably when you get that first one it's a monkey off your back or whatever the term is."

Edmonton had the two power plays in the game and managed one shot on goal.

"Usually our power play, in the past month or two, seems like it's been able to get us a goal at a big time in the game," Oilers forward Alex Chiasson said. "We probably weren't as sharp as we're used to tonight."

Cedric Paquette made it 3-1 with an empty-net goal with 56 seconds remaining in the third period. Brayden Point had an assist to extend his point streak to nine games (13 points; two goals, 11 assists).

"They were a fast team, we battled hard, we had a lot of looks, we only gave up two," Jones said. "If we put a couple of those in the back of the net, it's a completely different game."

 

They said it

"We knew we had to buckle down and kind of grind away. I think for the most part, other than maybe a bit at the start of the game, we did a good job with that. We came close a bunch of times and [Smith] played well for us. It's unfortunate we couldn't come out on top." -- Oilers forward Riley Sheahan

"Me and [Cedric Paquette] and whoever we play with, we've got to find a way to wear teams down. Down the stretch we've got to be effective, be big and strong, be heavy, be hard to play against ... be [jerks] I would say." -- Lightning forward Pat Maroon

 

Need to know

Oilers forward Zack Kassian was involved in a kicking incident with Cernak with 2:22 left in the first period. ... Draisaitl reached 90 points in 57 games, the fastest by an Oilers player since Mark Messier in 1989-90 (55 games). Draisaitl has 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) in the past 16 games. ... Cooper is the first NHL coach to have four winning streaks of at least nine games with the same team. ... Kucherov and Cirelli were injured in a 2-1 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Stamkos missed his third game. ... Tampa Bay has won eight straight home games against Edmonton, dating to Dec. 9, 2009. ... The Lightning are 10-0-0 against the Pacific Division this season. ... Edmonton has given up 10 shorthanded goals this season, one behind the Detroit Red Wings for the most in the league. ... Lightning defenseman Cameron Gaunce, playing his first NHL game of the season, had an assist on Maroon's goal. It was his first NHL point since March 24, 2017 (seven games).

 

What's next

Oilers: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SUN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Video: Lightning match club record in win against Oilers

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