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St. Louis Scores Game Winner With Seven Seconds to Play
After a high-energy first period that saw the Tampa Bay Lightning jump out to a 2-0 lead, the Bolts gave up three unanswered goals to the Edmonton Oilers and needed to score twice, once late in the third period and again, with just seven seconds remaining in overtime, to pull out the comeback win, 4-3.
Ryan Malone knocked the rebound of a shot by Steven Stamkos passed Edmonton netminder Jeff Deslauriers for the first score of the game. The goal, at 4:13, gave Malone scores in two consecutive games. Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis were credited with assists.
The Lightning penalty killing unit continued their excellent play of late, holding the Oilers off the scoreboard after first Kurtis Foster (slashing) and then Matt Walker (holding) were sent off the ice, creating a two man advantage for Edmonton for 23 seconds.
Martin St. Louis stretched the Lightning lead to 2-0 when he deposited a slap shot on the power play just beneath the cross bar at 17:21.
Before the period came to a close, Stamkos had two outstanding scoring chances, but Deslauriers stopped both shots to keep the game close as the period ended.
Tampa Bay finished the stanza outshooting the Oilers, 8 -6.
The second period belonged to Edmonton as they amped up their intensity in the first part of the period, collecting all three shots on net in the first five minutes of play.
The determined play on the part of the Oilers continued through the period as they clawed their way back into the game, beginning with a power play goal at 15:52 scored by Oiler forward Robert Nilsson. The goal marked the first time that Edmonton was able to cash in on an extra man opportunity after five attempts.
The Oilers knotted the score at 2-2 just 3:40 later as Andrew Cogliano split the Lightning defense and backhanded the puck passed Tampa Bay goaltender Mike Smith.
The Lightning left the ice after being outshot by the Oilers, 13 – 4, for period two.
After Edmonton’s second period comeback, it was a one-period game, as the final stanza began.
With less than three minutes gone in the period, Tampa Bay put together a flurry of good scoring chances, with James Wright generating the best scoring opportunity, but Deslauriers came up with the saves.
Edmonton grabbed the lead, however, at 4:13, when defenseman Tom Gilbert finished a 3-on-2 breakout as he beat Smith to the glove side.
With Edmonton’s Gilbert in the penalty box for holding and Malone also off the ice for roughing, Smith made an acrobatic save on Cogliano to keep Tampa Bay within one goal.
The Lightning had a man advantage when Ladislav Smid was whistled for interference at 12:46 but they were unable to convert the power play into the tying score.
But as the clock ticked down and it began to seem as if Edmonton’s three unanswered goals would stand up for the win, Lightning defenseman Kurtis Foster blasted a shot that weaved through a crowd in front and into the Oiler net at 18:23 to tie the game, 3-3. The goal was assisted by Victor Hedman and Jeff Halpern.
For the second consecutive game, the Lightning needed overtime to resolve matters as time ran out in regulation with the score tied.
The 4-on-4 overtime began with Tampa Bay skating a man short as Drew Miller was sent off the ice just prior to the end of regulation for delay of game. The Lightning escaped without harm but at 1:50 of the overtime Lukas Krajicek went to the penalty box. Again, the penalty killing unit came up big and Edmonton was unable to take advantage.
When Oiler defenseman Steve Staios was penalized for cross-checking Foster, Tampa Bay had only ten seconds with the extra man until the end of the overtime period. That turned out to be seven seconds more than they needed, as Marty St. Louis skated into the high slot and ended the game with his second goal of the night, a blast past Deslauriers at 4:53 of overtime. The goal, his second of the night and third point of the game, was assisted by Malone and Lecavalier.
The win extended the Lightning pre-season record to 3-1-2 with one game yet to be played, Sunday, at Atlanta.
Bolt Notes: The line of Malone, Stamkos and St. Louis combined for three goals and three assists tonight…The shots on goal were Edmonton 30, Tampa Bay, 26…The Lightning power play finished with two goals on five chances…Tampa Bay travels to Norfolk to scrimmage tomorrow with their AHL affiliate, the Admirals.
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