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Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning roll in mud with Edmonton Oilers, lose 5-3

This was a heated game to say the least, especially for two teams in opposite conferences.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers
Jan 19, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry (10) fight during the first period at Rogers Place.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning got sucked into the muck and fell to the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on the road and on the second half of a back-to-back. There were two fights and 42 penalty minutes between the two teams, including two diving penalties against the Oilers. The game was also the end of the Lightning’s five-game winning streak midway through their Western Conference road trip.

The Bolts lost their cool several times in this game, including at the end when Bouchard sent a slapshot at Paul’s feet in the final few seconds of the game. They also reacted to penalties taken by the Oilers and shoving matches. I support the team sticking their chests out, but they lost sight of the overall goal which is winning the game. At the end of the day, that sticks it to the Oilers more than a punch to the face.

Maroon was especially guilty of playing to his feelings and not the game. Hyping your teammates can work, but not when they have to immediately kill a penalty and end up 0-2, which Draisaitl did immediately after.

A fight can just as easily hype up the other team as it hypes up one’s own. And I think the Oilers got as much or more out of that dirty game as the Lightning did when it came to internal motivation or intimidating the opponent into giving you space. In fact, I found the Lightning could work in less space as the game went on and both teams were more aggressive with their checks.

The Lightning will need to re-evaluate how they want to play teams like the Oilers. Not for the series against Toronto because they don’t play that way, but onward.

First Period

0-1

McLeod scored to open the scoring with a tip through a screen in front of Vasilevskiy. Tough to blame anyone on that goal.

Kucherov got a slash on the hands. Then Stamkos had his stick ripped out of his hands. Neither got called and the Lightning started retaliating on the attacks on their stars. Then Kane dragged Kucherov to the ice after a trip, starting a scrum. Third time’s a charm the refs called the utterly obvious penalty.

0-2

Draisaitl scored on the Oilers first power play with Maroon in the box for hooking.

Perry and Nurse had a fight just as the buzzer went off.

After One

The unnecessary Maroon penalty followed by the Draisaitl goal was this game in a microcosm.

Second Period

Punching and wrestling aren’t really my thing, I don’t really consider them to be hockey. More of a sideshow. If hockey was invented today, it wouldn’t have a rule that said people could punch each other. I’m sure some see it as a religion, though, and that’s fine.

The real thing I notice is how Edmonton drags teams into the muck in order get power plays out of it. That’s specifically what Ken Holland says he likes about Evander Kane. He does dirty things after whistles or in play so the team can get 4v4 or the odd power play. This team is designed to create power plays for McDavid. When the Lightning fight and get dirty, they play into it. But they can’t get out of it because as Halpern said above, nothing’s going to stop them from standing up for their teammates. It’s a hero’s fallacy.

1-2

Hagel got the Bolts back into the game with this goal on the rebound from Cirelli and Killorn’s chances on Campbell. Credit to Fleury as well for the good stretch pass to get the play going. The Oilers were chasing bodies and couldn’t catch Hagel coming in from the neutral zone.

1-3

Fleury then missed on a pass which was blocked by Foegele, who found Hyman to restore the two-goal lead.

2-3

The Lightning began leveraging their top line offense as much as possible by putting Stamkos on the top line with Kucherov and Point. It did wonders.

3-3

Point tied the game by out-skating his defender through the offensive zone, tipping home Hedman’s shot-pass with ease. The goal was his team-leading 27th of the season.

After Two

The second period quickly became a have-and-have-not game as both teams stacked their offensive lines against each other and let the other lines play each other to nothing. Stamkos was brought up to the first line several times, as was Sergachev next to Hedman. Meanwhile Maroon was sent back to the fourth line with his old buddies.

At the end of the day it all worked out for the Lightning as they’re the much better team at 5v5. They out-scored Edmonton 3-1 at evens, giving themselves a tie ballgame once again.

Third Period

3-4

McDavid with an individual effort scooted around Cole and Cernak before bouncing a shot over Vasilevskiy’s arm and in.

Stamkos got called for hooking, but the Lightning killed it without giving up a shot. Got away with that one.

Kulak took a dive, but it ended up being Puljujarvi who took a penalty to give the Lightning a power play. Should’ve been a 5v3, in my opinion. Foegele and Kucherov battled for a loose puck, Kucherov got interference on the play, but Foegele dove, which actually got called. 5v4 for the Lightning still, but they couldn’t score.

Again, like fighting, the Oilers are designed to draw penalties. They dive all the time.

3-5

Hyman iced it with two minutes to go into the empty net.