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Lightning Wake Up in the Third to Take Their Game Back

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Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did most of the work while Tampa Bay was still asleep, but then the Bolts got sick of losing by the third period and won 3-2.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Highlights

The Oilers actually won their last game against Tampa Bay on October 20th at Rexall Place. Justin Schultz scored his first goal of the season that night. Taylor Hall took a penalty shot but not before standing at centre ice waving his arm in the air trying to get the crowd to express some interest.

The Oilers have unfortunately not been able to keep the momentum going from their freakish win over the Chicago Blackhawks last week. On the plus side, we have seen spirited performances from Benoit Pouliot and Derek Roy in the past handful of games, but, alas, they have not translated into much by way of the win column.

First period

18:45 Both teams are off to a scrambly start. Oilers cough up a couple giveaways that would be very juicy if Tampa was awake.
17:20 Matt Fraser wrists one off the post
15:03 Nikita Nikitin slaps one from the blueline into Ben Bishop as they go offside.
14:49 Oilers offside again. Pretty uneventful so far. Both teams attempting sloppy passes and scrambling around.
13:56 Penalty Teddy Purcell tries to turn away from a check by the boards, Vladislav Namestnikov catches his feet, which leads to a tripping call against Namestnikov.
11:56 Penalty over. Oilers with only a couple chances. Nail Yakupov misses the net with a strong shot. Roy tries to jam it in at the end of the penalty and Bishop hangs on for a whistle.
10:14 Ten minutes in and Tampa Bay finally gets their first shot by Ondrej Palat off a pass from Nikita Kucherov right by the net. Scrivens covers it up. Still waiting for Tampa Bay to wake up.
8:26 Justin Schultz is fed the puck in front of the net but the puck rolls off his stick.
7:32 Two on one as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tries to push it through the crease to Taylor Hall, but Ben Bishop kicks it out with his toe.
7:04 Penalty Matt Hendricks falls and trips Nikita Kucherov.Tripping penalty for Hendricks.
6:08 Shorthanded Goal Ryan Nugent-Hopkins breaks in along the boards around Anton Stralman, and shoves the puck into Ben Bishop’s pads. Both Lightning defensemen tie themselves up with Nugent-Hopkins and while the rest of the Lightning are still standing around assessing the damages, Pouliot jumps in on the play and manages to bang in the loose puck in the crease. 1-0 Edmonton.
2:01 Penalty Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle two-on-one. Eberle misses the net and Barberio then shoves Eberle to the ice and takes a penalty for slashing.
:50 Nail Yakupov misses a hard shot on net
:01 Anton Lander shot on net

I have yet to see this "Tampa Bay Lightning" everybody’s been talking about show up. But anyway, the adage ‘hard work beats talent every time," is working so far for the Oilers. It’s not pretty but the bullheadedness of the Oilers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in particular, has earned them a 1-0 lead.

Second Period

19:26 Rob Klinkhammer drives it up the boards, reminiscent of Nugent-Hopkins’ last period, taking the puck to the net and ends up crashing into Bishop.
18:28 Oilers are trapped in their end for a while. Jordan Eberle tries to send it into centre ice and Tampa picks it up to keep coming back at them. Taylor Hall eventually gets it out at 17:44 after a long shift for their line.
16:40 Vladislav Namestnikov and Brett Connolly show a series of quick, sharp passes at centre ice ending up with a wrist shot by Connolly straight down the middle into Scrivens' crest.
15:01 Penalty Matthew Carle skates into Ben Scrivens and Matt Hendricks charges in, one-arm tackles Carle, and they all fall on top of Scrivens.
Carle takes the penalty for goalie interference. Matt Hendricks and Todd Nelson have a yelling match on the bench. Hendricks' face turns red. Nelson probably told him to not run over our own goalie.
14:03 Yakupov rips one off the post.
12:50 Goal Jason Garrison pushes it up to Matthew Carle who has just come out of the penalty box. Carle makes a quick pass across to Steven Stamkos. Justin Schultz looks like he had no idea Stamkos is streaking in to the circle and Stamkos looks all business as he puts the puck in over top of Scrivens’ shoulder. 1-1 tie.
9:44 A bit of back and forth. Oilers trying to be more physical in the the Lightning end.
8:26 Tampa Bay’s Mark Barberio waits behind the Lightening net while they take forever to set up a play. It feels like a solid ten seconds and dangerously close to a delay of game, I’d think.
6:44 Nail Yakupov hits a post again! The posts are Yakupov’s worst enemy. Rebound pops out behind Bishop across the crease and over to the boards.
6:14 Steven Stamkos is right in front of Scrivens but misses the net twice. Anton Lander able to run into his stick at the last second.
3:11 Three on one as Nail Yakupov comes in with the puck. Derek Roy signals well to Yakupov that Pouliot is right behind him. Yak puts it back to Pouliot who then sends it over to Roy, who doesn’t have much to look at when it comes time to shoot. Bishop makes the save.
1:18 Penalty Rob Klinkhammer picks it up and drives it up the boards again into the Lightning end. He is hauled down by Andrej Sustr who takes a penalty for tripping.
00:57 Goal Benoit Pouliot jams the puck into the crease. Taylor Hall swings in to bump into Brian Boyle. A scrum accumulates in front of the net with Boyle and Anton Stralman. The puck floats around and bounces off Jason Garrison’s skate. Goal awarded to Pouliot. 2-1 Edmonton.

It’s almost as if the Oilers are trying to challenge the Lightning to footraces up along the boards. Nugent-Hopkins and Klinkhammer are going for it every single time. Also, Pouliot now has 10 goals and is one goal away from Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle, who have 11 each.

Third period

19:43 Ben Bishop comes way out of his net to poke check Rob Klinkhammer and loses his stick. The stick gets sent all the way to the Oilers end. Tyler Johnson goes all the way to Oilers end to retrieve the stick and delivers it back to Bishop. Nelson raises some question over it with the ref but there’s no issue there.
18:27 Goal Tyler Johnson drives down behind the Oilers net and puts it out in front. A rebound from Nikita Kucherov’s shot jumps out to Ondrej Palat who has a lot of net to look at and chucks it in. Score tied 2-2.
17:09 Teddy Purcell breaks up a pass, forcing a turnover in Tampa Bay’s end. The Oilers get a few chances culminating with Taylor Hall passing it to Justin Schultz who sends it into Ben Bishop.
14:20 Matthew Carle rips one into the crossbar. The crowd cheers as they think it’s a goal as Carle celebrates. The ref waves off it off and the Lightning players have to scramble after the Oilers as play continues.
12:14 Oilers win the faceoff in Tampa’s end but Andrew Ference can’t keep it in and the puck sails back to the Oilers end.
11:16 Tampa hammering away as Nugent-Hopkins loses his stick. He gets his stick back at 10:50.
10:24 Derek Roy makes a great hip check on J.T.Brown behind Scrivens’ net.
10:00 Tampa continuing to hammer away until eventually Andrew Ference ices it.
8:26 Teddy Purcell sets up Anton Lander who sends an easy one into Bishop, who can see it coming the whole way.
8:01 Goal Justin Schultz collects the puck off the faceoff and skates right into Oscar Klefbom. They lose the puck, Johnson picks it up and makes a smart backhand pass to Ondrej Palat who proceeds to drill it into the top corner. 3-2 Lightning.
6:14 Derek Roy and Benoit Pouliot hack at the net. Vladislav Namestnikov grabs Pouliot by the collar and pulls him down backwards in a questionable non-call. No penalty.
5:22 Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat come in on a two on one. Ben Scrivens stands up tall to make the save.
4:48 Another two on one but this time Stamkos can’t get a good angle on the net and nothing comes of it.
1:40 Ben Scrivens leaves the ice. Todd Nelson calls a time out. Jeff Petry sends in a couple rockets, one into Bishop’s pads, one into a bunch of bodies in front of the net, both to no avail.

Parting shots

I’m not even sure the Tampa Bay Lightning fully appreciated they were playing a hockey game until the middle of the second period when they eventually woke up and wrenched the game back from the Oilers.

Pouliot got two more goals, although on one of those goals he was the beneficiary of some very hard work by Nugent-Hopkins. You can tell what kind of night Nugent-Hopkins is going to have in the first 10 minutes of the game and he was a beast for the first two periods for sure. Otherwise the Oilers were quite happy to try to take the game with garbage goals and that’s perfectly fine with me. They put 32 shots on Ben Bishop.

Justin Schultz had another 24 minute night for the Oilers. While Matt Hendricks was told to sit his ass down after his spat with Todd Nelson, and clocked in less than 11 minutes.

Scrivens stopped 16 out of only 19 shots for a save percentage of .842, which is a little depressing because on a night where Tampa decides they don’t feel like bringing their A game, you would hope you could steal one.

Coming up next, Saturday January 17, the Oilers head to Miami to take on the Florida Panthers, a team everyone said in the off-season would do much better this year and now we’re surprised they actually are.