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GAME STORY: Lightning 4, Oilers 1

The Oilers could not find offence as Tampa Bay skated away with a 4-1 victory

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

TAMPA, FL - Two goals in the opening minute of two different periods doomed the Oilers as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers @ Lightning Post-Game





The Oilers play the Florida Panthers Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on Sportsnet and heard on the Oilers Radio Network.


The Oilers fell victim to an offside challenge early in the third that could have made it a different game.

"It was definitely a big play and a big moment in that game," said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. "That happens. Obviously, if the roles were reversed and we were the ones challenging that we'd love that call. That's just how it goes sometimes."

The Lightning struck first at 4:26 of the opening period when Oilers defenceman Brandon Davidson's stick broke on a shot attempt at the blueline and the home team came streaking back the other way. A 2-on-1 rush turned into Ondrej Palat burying a feed from Nikita Kucherov.

Palat scored once again to make it 2-0 just 16 seconds into the second period. Following a turnover in the Oilers zone, Tyler Johnson sauced a pass to Palat backdoor and his one-timer went top-shelf past Laurent Brossoit.

"You've got to tip the cap to the other team. They have a lot of skill on the other end there and they showed it on the first two," said Brossoit.

Edmonton cut the Tampa Bay lead in half when Iiro Pakarinen scored his first goal of the season at 10:17 of the middle frame. Pakarinen burst up the middle and rifled a quick shot on net and it barreled its way past Ben Bishop. Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson recorded the assists.

Unfortunately for Edmonton, the Lightning got another quick start-of-period goal from Nikita Kucherov just 49 seconds into the third. The goal took back the two-score lead for the home team.

"I think I got caught," said Brossoit. "I was with him the whole way and then I stopped moving with him and planted my feet a little early and gave him a little bit of daylight. That's all Kucherov needed."

It appeared as though Klefbom had narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 2:03 of the third. However, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper challenged that it was offside and won. The score remained 3-1.

Brossoit made not one, but two saves on a Kucherov breakaway later in the third to give his team some hope. However, the Oilers would not get another past Bishop and Vladislav Namestnikov would get the empty-net insurance goal with one second remaining to close out the game.

"I think it's a reflection of where our team is right now," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We have some work to do. We just don't get enough opportunities to work on our game, so we've got to fix it somehow.

"Individuals have to accept some responsibility for bringing their A-game to the rink. Some key players have to pick it up. This is a great opportunity for guys who haven't been in the playoffs here before to really grind and step forward and say 'look at me, I'm prepared to go.' We haven't had that from some over the last little bit."

Edmonton has a quick turnaround as they face the Florida Panthers Wednesday night in game three of a six-game road trip.

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