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Close but no 'W'

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton almost got on the board early as Lightning goaltender Marc Denis juggled a point shot from Marc Pouliot. Steve Staios tried to swoop in and knock the rebound through the legs of Denis but he was able to cover it up.

Recent call-up Kyle Brodziak almost set up a goal six minutes in as his shot was kicked out into the slot by Denis but Shawn Horcoff couldn't get a handle on the rebound.

The line of Brodziak, Horcoff and Raffi Torres almost did it again several minutes later as Brodziak found Horcoff in the slot with a nice touch pass. Horcoff tried a backhand deke move and Denis just got a glove on it with a desperation save.

With seven minutes to go in the first, Petr Sykora took advantage of a turnover before spinning and firing on net. His shot beat Denis but rang off the far post.

After one, shots on goal were 10-7 for Edmonton.

Tim Taylor had a chance to put Tampa on the board early in the second but as he was breaking in free on Markkanen he was hooked from behind by Matt Greene just enough to impede his opportunity.

Shortly after the penalty to Greene expired, the Oilers created a three-on-one following a good line change. Shawn Horcoff ended up taking the shot and Denis had to be sharp to make the left pad save.

Tampa had another power play midway through the period and this time they capitalized. Vaclav Prospal teed up a shot from the high slot that beat Markkanen high to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

With 6:30 to go in the second, Lecavalier picked up a pass from the bottom of the left circle and one-timed a shot behind Markkanen to double the Lightning lead to 2-0.

The Oilers pressed to close the gap in the final minute of the second but Denis came up with two huge saves on Torres and Lupul on subsequent attempts.

Shots after two were 20-19 for Tampa Bay.

In the opening minute of period three, Petr Sykora hit another post after one-timing a rolling puck following a pass from Lupul.

Edmonton continued to put the pressure on Tampa's defence, outshooting the visitors 6-1 in the opening nine minutes of the period.

Pouliot just missed an open net after swooping in to pick up a rebound. His backhand attempt was stopped by Denis, who sprawled out to make the save.

Seconds later, Matt Greene and Nick Tarnasky dropped the gloves for a spirited bout. Greene got the majority of shots in on the fight but Tarnasky took two for instigating.

Just after that penalty expired, Ladislav Smid shot a wrister from the left point that found its way past Marc Denis. Raffi Torres and Joffrey Lupul had the assists.

With 38.2 seconds left, Vincent Lecavalier added an empty netter to seal the deal.

NOTES: Tampa Bay defenceman Paul Ranger left the game in the first period with a left knee injury and did not return... Steve Staios left the game in the second period with a left knee injury and Jan Hejda left with a left shoulder injury. Neither Oiler returned to the lineup.
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