Yanni Gourde broke a second-period tie with a short-handed game-winner as Tampa Bay beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Thursday night, extending the Lightning’s winning streak to an NHL-high nine games.
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves to win his league-best 31st game and ran his point streak to 20 contests (18-0-2) for the Lightning, who won for the 10th consecutive time at home — tying the franchise record.
Pat Maroon and Cedric Paquette notched goals, Brayden Point extended his point streak to nine games with an assist, and Tampa Bay won its 13th straight match against a Pacific Division club, dating to last season.
The Lightning were without three productive forwards accounting for 67 goals — captain Steven Stamkos (missing third game), winger Nikita Kucherov and speedy Anthony Cirelli — the latter two missing their first games with lower-body injuries.
Caleb Jones scored, Leon Draisaitl assisted for his NHL-leading 90th point and Mike Smith stopped 34 shots for the Oilers, who lost for the first time in three games.
Edmonton played their second straight game without speedster Connor McDavid. The high-scoring forward will miss two to three weeks with a quadriceps ailment sustained against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
The teams failed to find the net in the first period, primarily behind Smith’s play. A member of the Lightning from 2007-11, Smith stopped all 14 shots he faced from his former club, including a juicy point-blank putback by Maroon at 15:04.
But Maroon’s hard work right in front of Smith — plus some contact — early in the second gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead at 4:39.
The big forward made contact with Smith’s stick while screening the goalie, sending the stick across the ice, and Maroon went behind the net to retrieve Luke Schenn’s wide shot from the point, flipped the puck back and caromed it off Smith’s right skate for his seventh marker.
Edmonton knotted it at 1 at 9:36 when Jones grabbed his own rebound off a blocked shot and beat Vasilevskiy for his third of the season, but Gourde potted a marker for his second straight game by converting over Smith’s blocker on a breakaway attempt at 13:01 after his steal in the neutral zone. The short-handed tally was the Lightning’s third this season.
Paquette added an empty-net goal in the third for the Lightning to finish off their eighth straight home win over Edmonton.
—Field Level Media