The Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday. Playing in their second game in less than 24 hours, the Lightning overcame a slow start to earn the third point to end their three-game road trip.
The Oilers came out strong early, creating a lot of offensive opportunities and outshot the Lightning 11-5 in the first period.
They took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Milan Lucic early in the second period after putting pressure on the Lightning in their own end and using their speed to make plays. The goal seemed to light a fire under the Lightning, as they skated with an extra step and tied the game on Jonathan Drouin’s tally with the man advantage later in the frame.
The Lightning were playing without forwards Ryan Callahan, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette and Steven Stamkos — five of their top nine forwards. The absence of Callahan, who has not played since Nov. 27, has contributed to the struggles the Lightning are going through on the penalty kill. It proved to be another issue for the club on Saturday, as they allowed two power play goals on six attempts.
The Lightning took the lead when Tyler Johnson found the back of the net early in the third period but the lead was short-lived. After Slater Koekkoek was called for a hooking penalty, the Oilers converted for the second time on the power play as Leon Draisaitl registered his 14th goal of the season.
After the teams were unable to break the tie in overtime, the game moved to a shootout where Connor McDavid emerged as the hero — scoring his first career shootout goal to seal the victory.
Here’s a closer look at how it played out on Saturday:
The Oilers looked like a team with three days of rest as they came out flying around to open the contest. The Lightning, on the other hand, were playing their second game in as many days and it showed. The Lightning were able to kill off two penalties during the period, as Cory Conacher and J.T. Brown each were called for minor penalties, but the Lightning’s penalty killing unit would not fair as well later in the contest. When the Lightning were unable to convert on a late power play of their own late in the period, the teams entered the intermission scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
Edmonton picked up where they left off in the first period, using their speed to put pressure on the Lightning and creating scoring chances. During the Oilers’ third power play opportunity of the game, the crowd erupted and the goal celebration music played momentarily after Draisaitl appeared to score the game’s first goal. The shot, however, hit the outside of the net and came out quickly but looked different in real-time. Seconds later, Lucic made it official, as he tallied his ninth goal of the season to make it 1-0 at 3:58 of the period.
The Lightning bounced back after the goal, as they found their legs and turned on the pressure in the offensive zone. When Taylor Beck was called for hooking, Jonathan Drouin tied the game on his seventh goal of the season with just over a minute left in the middle frame. Victor Hedman’s assist on the goal was the 254th point of his career and moved him past former Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle for first all-time in scoring for blueliners.
The Lightning took their first lead of the game when Tyler Johnson beat Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot to make it 2-1 at 2:35 of the period. Johnson capitalized on a feed from Cory Conacher who picked up his second point in as many games and showed good patience on the play to set up the goal.
The Lightning outshot the Oilers 14-7 in the period but were put on the penalty kill when Slater Koekkoek was called for a hooking penalty just under seven minutes in. The Oilers made quick work of the man-advantage, as Draisaitl re-directed a Mark Letestu shot after winning the faceoff in the Lightning’s own end just seven seconds into the power play.
The game remained tied at two goals a side and the teams headed to a 3-on-3 overtime session.
The speed of both teams was on display during the five-minute overtime as they took advantage of the open ice to create opportunities, but tallied just one shot each. The best scoring opportunity, however, would not register as a shot on goal, as Vladislav Namestnikov rung one off the post and the game remained tied. Brayden Point was called for a hooking penalty with 9.8 seconds left but the Oilers were unable to convert on a short power play.
Letestu opened the shootout by beating Ben Bishop to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. After Brayden Point was stopped in a shootout for the first time on four attempts, Bishop turned away Draisaitl. Drouin converted on his attempt to tie things up but McDavid scored his first shootout goal at a big moment for the club on the team’s next attempt. Talbot stopped Brian Boyle to secure the victory and earn the extra point for the Oilers.
EDM-Milan Lucic (9) assisted by Leon Draisaitl and Andrej Sekera (PP)
TB-Jonathan Drouin (7) assisted by Victor Hedman and Brayden Point (PP)
TB-Tyler Johnson (9) assisted by Cory Conacher and Nikita Nesterov
EDM-Leon Draisaitl (14) assisted by Mark Letestu and Andrej Sekera (PP)
EDM-Mark Letestu (goal)
TB-Brayden Point (saved)
EDM-Leon Draisaitl (saved)
TB-Jonathan Drouin (goal)
EDM-Connor McDavid (goal)
TB-Brian Boyle (saved)
THW Three Stars
First: Leon Draisaitl (one goal, one assist)
Second: Victor Hedman (one assist, 28:26 of ice time)
Third: Jonathan Drouin (one goal)
What’s Up Next
Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016
Amalie Arena – 7:30 p.m. EST
Broadcast Channels – TVAS, Fox Sports Sun, FS-D
Steven is a lawyer and writer with a passion for the game of hockey. He’s the Lead Writer covering the Tampa Bay Lightning with THW. He’s also been press credentialed through the Lightning since 2016. His work has been published at The Fourth Period, LightningInsider.com, Bolt Prospects, The Sports Daily Network, U.S. College Hockey Online and College Hockey News. He’s had radio appearances on TSN 690 in Montreal, Lightning Power Play Live and multiple podcasts to give insight and analysis on the team. He can be reached on Twitter @StevenDiOssi and by email at email@example.com.