Teddy Purcell spoiled the homecoming of a former hometown hero Thursday night.
Of course, he got a little help from Dwayne Roloson, and even a goal post too.
Purcell notched the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout and Roloson made 34 saves to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tom Pyatt also recorded the first two-goal game of his career for the Lightning, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
“We were disappointed in that last game against Buffalo,” Pyatt said. “But good things went right tonight and hopefully those will turn into better habits.”
Thursday night marked a reunion of sorts, as Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin played his first game in Tampa Bay since leading the Lightning to a victory in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. Roloson, meanwhile, faced his former club in the Oilers for just the second time since departing Edmonton following the 2008-09 season.
Purcell won it when he deked Khabibulin to the ice and lifted a backhand high into the net. Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth then went next and snapped a shot that beat Roloson cleanly, but rattled off the post to give the Lightning the victory.
Khabibulin finished the night with 19 saves. The win was Roloson’s first in goal since Feb. 16 against San Jose and his ninth of the season.
Linus Omark and Ladislav Smid each had goals for Edmonton, which lost for just the second time in its past five games. Each of those defeats, however, have now come in the shootout after the Oilers also fell 3-2 in the tiebreaker to Phoenix on Sunday night.
“We made a few mistakes,” Oilers forward Sam Gagner said. “But for the most part, I thought we played really hard. I thought we did enough to get the win, but that didn’t happen.”
With Tampa Bay clinging to a one-goal lead late in the game, Smid tied it 2-2 with 3:47 to play in regulation to send the contest into overtime. He took a cross-ice pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and fired a shot from the low left circle past Roloson for his fourth of the year, which broke a 38-game slump without a goal.
Prior to that, Pyatt opened the scoring while on the power play 3:24 into the second after a pass from Victor Hedman ricocheted off the skate and in past Khabibulin for a 1-0 lead.
Omark then tied it just 6:33 later after tipping in a feed through the slot from Ryan Whitney.
Pyatt’s second of the night with 1:42 left in the second re-established Tampa Bay’s one-goal lead and gave him 10 on the season. He had scored just twice in each of his previous two NHL seasons with Montreal.
Edmonton outshot Tampa Bay 11-1 in the final period, but Roloson was equal to the task, especially late in the game when he stopped Omark on a third-period breakaway just before Smid’s goal drew the Oilers even.
Roloson also came up with a big stop to deny Ales Hemsky from in-close in the first.
“He looked calm and in control,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “He worked hard for that win tonight.”
Both teams had their chances in the extra frame, but couldn’t convert. Roloson made some key saves down in his own end, while the Lightning failed to cash in on a late 4-on-3 power play opportunity at the other. Not that it mattered.
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis also scored in the shootout for the Lightning, while Roloson stopped four of six Edmonton attempts to best his former club.
The Lightning, 33-33-7, improved their record to 2-4-0 on their seven-game homestand, which ends Saturday night against the New York Islanders.