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Brian Elliott can't stop Oilers’ MVP firepower on his own

The back-up goaltender was hung out to dry by his teammates in a 4-1 loss to Edmonton.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Connor McDavid scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Saturday Night. Leon Draisaitl and Kailor Yamamoto had the other goals for the Oilers while Zach Bogosian had the lone tally for the Lightning. Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves in the win while Brian Elliott was stellar in defeat as he stopped 45 shots.

First Period

The Oilers built up a healthy head start thanks to a barrage of penalties by the Lightning. Thanks to the play of Elliott, it was only 1-0 at the end of the first 20 minutes. The goal came courtesy, of course, from the best player in the NHL. McDavid wasn’t to be denied as he zoomed in from the red line and past Victor Hedman before tucking a shot past Elliott to make it 1-0.

The Lightning had a chance to steal a goal back at the end of the period but Anthony Cirelli couldn’t beat Koskinen on a chance from in front of the net.

Second Period

The middle frame resembled the first 20 minutes as McDavid scored the lone goal and the Lightning took a bunch of penalties. This time it was the Edmonton superstar scoring on the power play with a wicked wrister after Hedman was unable to clear the puck out of the zone.

The Oilers piled up 33 shots in the first two frames, thanks in large part to the five penalties the Lightning took during that time frame. It’s hard to get any momentum going when you’re constantly down a player.

Third Period

The Lightning killed off the fifth of six Oilers man-advantages to start the final regulation period after Ryan McDonagh was called for hooking Josh Archibald hit the post on a 2-on-1 rebound with a wide open net to almost widen the lead for the home team.

Zach Bogosian made things interesting and cut the lead in half with a wrister past Koskinen, a terrific dish in the corner from Corey Perry.

A melee erupted after the goal, as Brad Malone knocked down Nikita Kucherov. Along with a couple of questionable hits on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Corey Perry right before the goal, it was bound to turn into a line brawl. The main fight showcased Mikhael Sergachev getting an unanimous decision in over Archibald out of the kerfuffle.

The Lightning emerged with a 5-on-3, but despite a couple of huge shots from Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, Koskinen and the Oilers killed off the best opportunity for Tampa Bay to tie the score.

Things got even worse for the Bolts right after the power play as Draisaitl was shot out of a cannon from his own zone following a bad drop pass by Erik Cernak Jan Rutta (who did not have a great game) that led to a backhanded breakaway goal for McDavid’s running mate.

Yamamoto sealed it with an empty netter after he won the race to the loose puck after Evander Kane shot it down the ice. The game would end with the final score of 4-1.

The Lightning will return to action tomorrow night against the Vancouver Canucks at 10:00 PM EST as they look to end their three-game losing streak (and five-game slump).

Peter’s 3 Charged Rocks and 3 Stars:

Rocks:

Brayden Point (-2)

Jan Rutta (2 minor penalties)

Steven Stamkos (need more)

Stars:

Brian Elliott (45 saves)

Mikhail Sergachev (stood up for team with a fight)

Ryan McDonagh (7:09 ice-time on the PK)

NOTES:

  • This was the first time the Lightning have played in Rogers Place since winning the Stanley Cup in 2020.
  • Zack Bogosian scored in his third game back after being out for over a month.
  • The Lightning were assessed seven penalties, their season high.
  • Tyson Barrie returned to the lineup after being out injured for the past 3 games.
  • The Lightning defeated the Oilers in their last meeting, 5-3 on Feb. 23.
  • Edmonton were 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, while Tampa Bay was coming off two straight losses and are 7-3-0 in their last 10.
  • With Leon Draisaitl’s point in the game, McDavid and Draisaitl also are only the 3rd set of teammates in NHL history to get at least 3 consecutive seasons of both reaching the 80 point mark before their team’s 60th game- joins Wayne Gretzky/Jari Kurri (4 from 1983-86) & Bobby Orr/Phil Esposito (1969-72).